Scoliosis Clinic, Orthopaedic Department, «Thriasio» General Hospital, G. Genimata Avenue, Magula, 19600, Athens, Greece.
The value of school screening as a research tool for Idiopathic Scoliosis (IS) aetiology has not been recognized adequately in the literature. The aim of the present study is to summarize the contribution of school screening in research of IS aetiology. All the relative publications about research of IS aetiology which originated from our scoliosis school screening program were analyzed. Information is provided about a) the influence of environmental factors in IS prevalence, b) the IS prevalence in girls with visual deficiency, c) the role of melatonin in IS pathogenesis, d) the age at menarche in IS girls and its relation to laterality of the curve, e) the role of the brain in trunk asymmetry and IS pathogenesis, f) the role of the thoracic cage in IS pathogenesis, g) the impact of the lateral spinal profile, h) the role of the intervertebral discs in IS pathogenesis, i) the association of cavus foot with IS and j) anthropometric data in IS patients. The present study provides evidence to support that school screening programs should be continued not only for early detection of IS or for health care purposes, but also as a basis for epidemiological surveys until we learn much more about the aetiology of IS.