Rockford Spine Center recognizes National Scoliosis Awareness Month

Online Staff Report

Rockford Spine Center, 2902 McFarland Road, joins health care leaders across the country in recognizing June as National Scoliosis Awareness Month. A tree on the property along Perryville will be decorated with more than 250 bows representing the patients who were treated for scoliosis in the past 12 months.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during an adolescent growth spurt. According to the Scoliosis Association, the condition is the most common deformity of the spine, affecting about 10 percent of adolescents in the U.S., or an estimated 7 million Americans.

Scoliosis Awareness Month is a good time for us to strengthen our efforts to recognize and treat individuals with scoliosis,” said Dr. Christopher Sliva, partner and fellowship-trained surgeon at Rockford Spine Center. “Our aim is to diagnose early and work on preventative steps for adolescents with possible scoliosis conditions so they have a better chance of avoiding potentially painful outcomes later in life.”

Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

In children and teens, scoliosis typically does not cause symptoms and is not obvious until the curve of the spine becomes moderate or severe.

We feel it is important to promote awareness of this condition so people educate themselves on what signs to look for and when to seek guidance from a doctor,” said Dr. Michael Roh, partner and fellowship-trained surgeon at Rockford Spine Center. “In the 10 years we have been practicing in Rockford, we have diagnosed or treated more than 2,000 people with scoliosis. It is such a heartwarming feeling to see a patient stand up straight for the first time — often inches taller — and able to enjoy a pain-free life.”

Some of the signs or symptoms of scoliosis include the following:

• Uneven shoulders;

• One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other;

• Uneven waist; and

• One hip higher than the other.

In keeping with their commitment to educating and improving the quality of life for their patients, Rockford Spine Center maintains multiple resource tools on the Patient Education portion of its website at The tools include tutorials, videos and links to professional organizations like the Scoliosis Research Society, for which Dr. Roh has served as a cabinet member and committee chairman.

Posted June 26, 2013

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