Although radiation doses are very low in X-rays, they are potentially harmful to the patient. That’s why many people do not like to get X-rays. What many scoliosis patients do not know: It works without …
The alternatives are summarized under the term topographic methods. Topos (word origin is Greek) means place. In these procedures, the back is measured.
This is done firstly by highly technical methods, e.g. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
But it is also easier: A small but important measuring device is the scoliometer which was invented by Dr. med. William P. Bunnell in the 80’s of the last century.
It is similar to a spirit level, but can do much more.
Measuring The Cobb Angle With Scoliometer
The scoliometer can be used to determine the Cobb angle. This angle indicates the curvature of the spine. The patient leans forward with his legs outstretched. The doctor or therapist places the scoliometer on the prominent protrusions of the spine on the dorsal surface (prominences, rib hump, lumbar bulge).
Using the scale on the scoliometer, the practitioner can draw conclusions about the Cobb angle. Examinations have shown that the results obtained at best differ slightly from the values determined by X-ray.
Measuring should always be the same practitioner; This can be used to avoid excessive measurement errors. Even with X-rays, measurement tolerances of five degrees are possible. Bending with the legs outstretched, the so-called Adams test, is an examination familiar to every scoliosis patient.
It has been shown that determining the Cobb angle using the scoliometer is a useful technique to significantly reduce exposure to X-rays. Scoliosis patients could do without numerous X-ray examinations if more doctors, physiotherapists, and orthopedic technicians were trained in this procedure.