The geometry of scoliosis

  • The geometry of scoliosis

    Terri L. Kurz, H. Bahadir Yanik, and Mi Yeon Lee
    Science and mathematics often go hand-in-hand. Using scoliosis as a context, intermediate elementary school students can explore how geometry, specifically angle measurement, plays an important role in recognizing the extent of a person’s spine curvature. According to Hresko (2013), scoliosis is a medical condition caused by the curvature of the spine; it is the most common spine deformity. Few (1.6 percent) of high school students have a spine that does not curve and is completely symmetrical; curvature is actually common. Because most people have some curvature of the spine, scoliosis is specifically defined as “a lateral curvature of the spine that is 10 degrees or greater on a coronal radiographic image while the patient is in a standing position” (p. 834).
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