Child Orthopedics


Frequently Asked Questions

When my daughter goes to the doctor for her annual check up, he makes her bend over as if to touch her toes. He says he's checking how straight her back is. Could you explain why he is doing this and how this helps? Thank you.

By asking your daughter to bend over at the waist, your daughter's doctor is doing an initial screening for scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. This particular exam is called the Adam's Forward Bend test. This allows the doctor, or other healthcare professional, to see if your daughter's shoulder blades are even. However, chances are, your daughter's doctor is also looking for other signs as well, such as:

  • When your daughter is standing straight, are both shoulders at the same height? Is her waist even?
  • Is your daughter's straight over the center of her body?
  • Does your daughter lean to one side?
  • Are both hips at the same level?

John H. Moe, MD. A Critical Analysis of Methods of Fusion for Scoliosis: An Evaluation in Two Hundred and Sixty-six Patients. In CLinical Orthopedics & Related Research. July 2007. Vol. 460. Pp. 21-28.

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