Background: The effectiveness of orthopedic screening programs for school-age children are still controversial. We conducted a prospective study in order to determine the frequency of undiagnosed orthopedic problems in an adolescent population. Objective: To determine the frequency of undiagnosed orthopedic problems in an adolescent population discovered through routine physical examinations carried out by a general pediatrician in a school clinic. Methods: We examined 2380 adolescents attending a public high school over a 5 y period in order to determine the frequency of undiagnosed orthopedic abnormalities in this age group. Results: Previously undiagnosed orthopedic findings, especially spinal deformities were found in 14.8%. Scoliosis was detected in 1.6% of the entire group with a threefold predominance of girls over boys. Few cases were progressive and needed surgery. Extra spinal orthopedic findings were found in 2.9% of the patients. Conclusions: Screening programs can identify previously undetected orthopedic abnormalities in the school-age population. We conclude that screening programs for school age children coupled with subsequent follow-up procedures are worthwhile.
- Orthopedic problems
- Screening school-age