After a recent news segment about scoliosis, the mother of several of your female patients calls to ask about the condition. You explain to her that idiopathic scoliosis would be most commonly found in her daughters in which age range?

  1.  Birth to 3 years
  2. 4 to 10 years
  3. 11 to 18 years
  4. 19 to 25 years
  5. >25 years

the answer is below…

The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.

The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.

This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.

The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.

All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.

Medical doctors with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America

The answer is c, 11 to 18 years. [4-6]

The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis. Three age ranges of idiopathic scoliosis exist: infantile (which presents at birth to 3 years of age), juvenile (presenting at 4 to 10 years of age), and adolescent (the most common form, accounting for 80% of cases and presenting from 11 years and older). To diagnose this condition, the back is viewed from behind, with the patient in the standing position. The waist, shoulders, and pelvis should be symmetric. The spine is examined for symmetry or deformity. The patient is then asked to bring the palms together in the front and bend at the waist. Viewing the patient from behind will allow for identification of any humps, valleys, or other deformities of the spine. Identified abnormalities can be confirmed radiographically. Premenarchal girls with a curvature of the spine of more than 20° on radiographs need close follow-up every 4 to 6 months, because the risk of progression is high.