Diagnostic Radiology - Scoliosis Study

What is a scoliosis study?

A scoliosis study is an x-ray of the entire thoracic and lumbar spine.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

A scoliosis study is performed to diagnose scoliosis and to measure the degree of curvature of the spine in order to develop a treatment plan.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

There is no special preparation required for a scoliosis study.  Once you arrive, the technologist will have you change into a gown and remove any jewelry or metal objects that could show up on the images.

Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.

What does the equipment look like?

The equipment used for a scoliosis study consists of a box-like structure containing the x-ray tube and a flat surface containing a film or digital recording plate.  Other equipment used consists of the same box-like structure containing the x-ray tube suspended above a large, flat table with a special drawer that holds a film cassette or digital recording plate.

How is the procedure performed?

A technologist will position you standing in front of a film holder.  Then, the technologist steps behind a radiation barrier.  They will ask you to hold your breath while the exposure is made.  The technologist will evaluate the images to ensure that no repeat films are necessary.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist will interpret the images, and a signed report will be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.