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Spinal X-rays for scoliosis

Why do I need to have X-rays taken?

Curves in the spine can become worse over time. X-rays are used to check whether your curve is worsening. If an operation is needed X-rays are taken and used by the surgeon to plan exactly what is needed to be done.

Why do I need to stand in a certain way?

It is important to get a good view so the X-ray picture is useful. You need to stand in a relaxed position with your feet level and spaced a few centimetres apart. Arms lifted to shoulder level and elbows bent with your fingers placed just in front of your shoulders. You will probably have X-rays taken from the back and from the side. [NEED CONSENT FOR BELOW PICS]

child stood straight forward with hands resting on their shoulders

child stood straight with hands resting on their shoulders, back image


Why do I need to sit in a certain way?

Many children who have scoliosis also have other conditions which mean they are unable to stand. If this is the case your X-rays will be taken with you in a sitting position. You will be supported if necessary on a special seat which helps to maintain an upright position

Why might I need to have side bending films?

These films are taken whilst you are lying on your back. You will be asked to bend your body to one side. Please try to really bend your upper body to get the best view possible. You may need to have a second X-ray with you bending to the other side too. These films will show how flexible your curve is.

Why might I need to have stretch films?

These films are taken whilst you are lying down on your tummy. These too will show how flexible your curve is and how much improvement of the curve, may be possible.

Why might I need to have a chest X-ray?

These are taken if you are going to have an operation and will also be taken whilst you are lying on your back. It will help your anaesthetist to give you the best care.

Contact details

If you have any questions or problems however trivial they may be – please ask.

Use the contact details below or write your questions down prior to your consultation.

Spinal Nursing Team
0114 2267984

Orthotic Department
0114 2717271

Mr Breakwell, Mr Cole, Mr Athanassacopoulos, Mr Bayley, Miss Srinivas
Secretary 0114 2267981

Formetric scan advice
0114 226 0602

Switchboard 0114 2717000

Scoliosis Association (SAUK)
2 Ivebury Court
323-327 Latimer Court
W10 6RA
020 8964 5343

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SPN5

Resource Type: Article

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Contact Numbers:

Mr Cole, Mr Breakwell, Mr Athanassacopoulos, Mr Bayley, Miss Srinivas
Secretary 0114 226 7981

Spinal Nursing Team
0114 226 7984 or 0114 271 7000 and Bleep 152

X-ray department
0114 271 7238


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


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