Some pupils of the Kanda Cluster of Schools in Accra have been screened and sensitized on scoliosis, a three-dimensional abnormality that occurs when a person’s spine becomes rotated and curved sideways.
A total number of 221 pupils were screened and one suspected scoliosis case recorded in the exercise, which was held Saturday to mark the International Scoliosis Awareness Day.
It was organised by the Scoliosis Foundation Ghana in partnership with the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) and Inspire to Rise.
Helena Owiredu, a survival of scoliosis who developed curvature at the age of 13 shared her story.
A spine Doctor, Doctor Mahmoud Rafai of FOCOS Orthopedic Hospital advised parents to seek for medical assistance if they see any sign at the back of their children.
Early detection can help prevent its progression, reverse it, he said, adding that it is less complicated and cheaper to correct in its early stage.
Executive Director of Scoliosis Foundation Ghana, Gabriel Ntow Quao noted victims of scoliosis face a lot of challenges from stigmatization.
“When you’re in a public vehicle nobody wants to sit beside you, because they have the perception that scoliosis is infectious or is a curse so they don’t want to associate themselves with you at all,” he stated.
Symptoms associated with scoliosis can include:
- Respiratory and/or cardiac problems in severe cases
- Pain in back, shoulders, neck and buttock pain
- Limited mobility secondary to pain or functional limitation in adults
- Constipation due to curvature causing “tightening” of stomach, intestines, etc.
- Painful menstruation
The signs of scoliosis can include:
- Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
- Rib prominence or a prominent shoulder blade, caused by rotation of the rib cage in thoracic scoliosis
- Uneven hips, arms or leg lengths
- Slow nerve action
- Heart and lung problems in severe cases
- Calcium deposits in the cartilage endplate and sometimes in the disc itself
Watch the video of the screening: