App helps detect scoliosis

Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages parents to add screenings to their back-to-school routine

Lexington, Ky., August 15, 2017 – Parents can now check their child’s spine for possible signs of scoliosis with the new app SpineScreen developed by Shriners Hospitals for Children. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, SpineScreen detects curves when the phone is moved along a child’s back, giving parents a quick, informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can restrict movement and in some cases lead to other serious medical conditions. It is most commonly diagnosed between 10 and 15 years of age, when children grow rapidly. Some cases, however, can go undetected for periods of time because during this point in a child’s life fewer vaccinations are required, so they may see a doctor less often. Since early detection is crucial, Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington doctors encourage parents to download the free SpineScreen app and check kids as part of their back-to-school routine each year.

“Education is part of our mission at Shriners Hospitals for Children and we hope this app will be a resource to parents and caregivers as part of their routine back-to-school preparation,” says Vish Talwalkar, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon for Shriners Hospitals for Children Medial Center — Lexington “It is important that all children be evaluated for scoliosis throughout their development as early detection is key. The earlier a child is treated and seen for scoliosis the more options we have available for advanced treatment if necessary.”

Shriners Hospitals created the app as part of a broader initiative to highlight the importance of regular screenings and to educate parents on signs of scoliosis and treatment options.

“With doctors and staff who are global leaders in the treatment of scoliosis care, parents turn to Shriners Hospitals for Children because they know their children will receive the best care possible,” Gary Bergenske, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children adds, “Since scoliosis usually requires ongoing medical treatment throughout childhood, our commitment to provide care regardless of the families’ ability to pay is a huge relief to parents.”

If you have immediate concerns about your child’s spine or other possible medical conditions, please consult your healthcare provider. For more information on scoliosis screenings, treatment options and to download the app, please visit

About Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington

Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington is a recognized leader in treating orthopaedic conditions from birth until age 18, although, in some cases, it may be extended to age 21. We provide pediatric speciality care in the areas of clubfoot, hip disorders, scoliosis, hand and upper extremity disorders, limb deficiencies, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, osteogenesis imperfecta, neuromuscular disorders, sports injuries and other orthopaedic related conditions with a goal to restore each child physically, emotionaly and socially. All care and services are provided in a family-centered environment regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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Staff Report

Information for this story was provided by Shriners Hospital.