Texas Legislature Must Update Spinal Screening Standards in Schools to Match Current Science

Major new research has found that bracing may deter the need for surgery when scoliosis is found at an early age. Unfortunately, Texas’ school screening standards are set by legislative statute, and the current ages may be too late for early detection to be made.

Contact state representative and senator to ask them to co-sponsor HB 1076 and SB 850 to update the state’s screening standards.  The bills would grant the Department of State Health Services the authority to update the state’s screening standards based on recommendations made by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, Scoliosis Research Society, and Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

We have provided sample text for your e-mail. However, please feel free to put your message in your own words.  Lawmakers are far more likely to respond to a personalized e-mail than a form e-mail.

The bill is supported by the Texas School Nurses Organization, Texas Pediatric Society, Texas Orthopaedic Association, and Texas Medical Association.

 

Issue Background: New Research Confirms That Bracing Due to Early Detection Can Avoid Painful Surgery

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, and it has no known cause (idiopathic).  The medical community has learned much over the past few years regarding the importance of early detection.

A major Level 1 NIH-funded study published in a September 2013 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine provided the most compelling evidence to date regarding the importance of early detection and the efficacy of brace treatment in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  It showed that bracing significantly decreases the progression of high-risk curves to the threshold of surgery, and that the benefits of bracing increases with longer hours of brace wear.  [Weinstein, et al, NEJM-2013]

Researchers at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas recently conducted two award-winning studies that show brace treatment is effective in preventing the need for surgery, and that patients who use a monitor to document brace-wear patterns, and who are counseled accordingly, are significantly more likely to be successfully treated. [Brace Treatment Controls Progression in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis” (Katz, et al, JBJS-2010), and “Effect of Compliance Counseling on Brace Use and Success in Patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis” (Karol, et al, JBJS-2016)]

 

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