Saturday, June 9, 2018

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month, and also celebrating opening of the new Hey Clinic!

New Hey Clinic Open House June 7 2018 with Dr. David Zaas, Duke Raleigh Hospital CEO kicking off Scoliosis Awareness Month with Roy Cooper's Proclamation
This past week has been a very busy, but joyous one at the newly opened Hey Clinic, as we all celebrate the kickoff off June as Scoliosis Awareness Month. Many thanks to Wendy from Hey Clinic (a scoliosis mom) and for Roy Cooper and his office who worked hard to make this happen, as North Carolina joins with other States around the US, and other nations around the world to be more aware of spinal deformities.  The truth is that the United States, while great in a lot of things, is way behind other countries around the world when it comes to scoliosis screening and early intervention.  

Scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis awareness is important more than ever as evidence continues to mount that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", starting with the 2013 NEJM scoliosis bracing randomized control trial with Weinstein and Dolan.  Since then, other studies coming out of SOSORT and other sources showing how physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) like Schroth, which have actually been widely used in Europe for decades, can in some cases actually IMPROVE scoliosis, especially during the crucial early curve progression period in early adolescence.  I actually spent a week this past April over in Dubrovnik Croatia learning from conservative scoliosis treatment experts from all over Europe and the rest of the world how we can possibly redirect the miraculous, complex 25 segment core structure of every human being.  For example, there also is growing evidence of the synergistic benefit of PSSE combined with more modern custom 3D derotation scoliosis braces like Rigo-Cheneau, which seem to be resulting in higher patient compliance, which is linked to effectiveness.

After a very busy couple years planning and building the new Hey Clinic, and also very busy writing lectures, and developing new patient safety "apps" using checklists that we will be rolling out to other scoliosis centers this summer, and training up new interns to help out with our quality improvement projects, I hope to take a little more time now to share what we've been learning here on the blog. 

Stay tune for more, and let's all try to figure out ways to increase scoliosis awareness, and think and act creatively to ensure that every precious growing child in North Carolina and elsewhere has the opportunity to get screened, and have an early intervention like PSSE and/or bracing that can help prevent decades of suffering and possibly disability later in life.  So download a Scoliometer App for your phone, and learn how YOU can even help identify children and adolescents at risk for scoliosis.  Even adults can be identified with scoliosis and kyphosis and still benefit from detection and careful follow-up and conservative care.   --- Lloyd Hey

Here is the text from Governor Roy Cooper's Proclamation

State of North Carolina
Roy Cooper Governor
National Scoliosis Awareness Month

WHEREAS, increasing public awareness of scoliosis can help children, parents, adults and healthcare providers understand, recognize and treat this and other complex spinal deformities; and
WHEREAS, scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects an estimated 3 percent of the population, or 7 million people in the United States; there is no known cause for scoliosis, and the condition can affect people of any age, race, gender or ethnicity; and
WHEREAS, an estimated one million scoliosis patients utilize health care yearly and approximately one in every six children diagnosed with this condition is required to receive medical treatment, sometimes involving surgery; and
WHEREAS, the primary age of onset for scoliosis is between ten and 15 years; females who have scoliosis are five times more likely to progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment; and
WHEREAS, screening programs allow for early detection and for treatment opportunities which may alleviate the worst effects of the condition; and
WHEREAS, National Scoliosis Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness and support for those combatting this spinal condition, and to advocate for increased research and funding to reduce pain and suffering it causes;
NOW, THEREFORE, I ROY COOPER,  Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim June 2018 as "NATIONAL SCOLIOSIS AWARENESS MONTH" in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

Signed Roy Cooper, Governor
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the great seal of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this first day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand and eighteen and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

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