How is AIS diagnosed?
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is usually first identified by a family member, school screening or pediatric or family physician. Because AIS is usually painless, a fullness or prominence of the back is noted especially with bending forward. This prominence or rib hump can be measured using a scoliometer (a leveling device placed over the spine). The scoliometer measures the angle of trunk rotation at the apex or peak of the prominence. Once the patient is referred to a scoliosis specialist and after a thorough history and physical examination, radiographs or X-ray images are taken. These X-ray studies are done while the patient is standing and include front, side and bending positions.