There are 4 main curve models for scoliosis, namely primary thoracic (60%), thoracic lumbar (25%), double large (10%), and primary lumbar (5%). This information is critical to understanding the mechanisms and is often an important factor in how medications are administered and how likely they are to respond to treatments such as exercise, strengthening, and even surgery.
The type of curve should also include the orientation of gravity, the number of vertebrae involved in forming the Cobb angle, the degree of rotation at the top of the curve, and the compensation available.
In addition, appropriate changes in the sagittal (lateral) view should be determined, because pulmonary compromise often does not occur until both primary thoracic curvatures exceed 60 degrees and the thoracic spine moves forward. So, if your child has a major curvature of the lumbar, lumbar, or thoracic spine without anterior displacement, respiratory distress is unlikely.
If your child has a lumbar spine injury and a fusion occurs, the rate of permanent damage increases, as does the possibility of future hardware damage and side effects. If your child has a tall chest with high rotation and a low amount of spine, the effectiveness of this rigid orthosis with curvature will essentially eliminate this option. So you can start to see the importance of knowing more than just owning this number.
Understanding your child's scoliosis, treatment options, and the effectiveness of those options starts with a good doctor who takes the time to educate you about your child's spinal condition.