Since 1988, we have carried out mass screening of scoliosis for children in elementary schools and junior high schools in Nagasaki city.
Every year about 33, 000 elementary school children and 17, 500 junior high school children were examined by the respective school doctors or nursing staff as a first screen. Suspected scoliosis cases were then examined by orthopaedists for the second screening. X-rays were taken in those hump proprietors who had more than eight mm differences, measured by a hump meter.
Scoliosis was diagnosed in 0.77% of elementary school children and 1.79% of junior high school children on average. The average incidence of scoliosis with curves more than ten degrees were 0.04% in elementary schools and 0.35% in junior high schools. There was a significant correlation between the height of the hump and Cobb's angle in junior high school children.
The incidence of scoliosis in the first screening was lower than that found in previous reports. This may be due to great variations between schools in the first screening in this study. It is important to educate school doctors and nursing staff for the proper screening of scoliosis.