A Historical Perspective of the Management of Scoliosis

Creative Commons License


ERCIYES MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.44, no.4, pp.439-446, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/etd.2022.23682
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.439-446
  • Keywords: Ancient history, braces, conservative management, history of medicine, scoliosis, OPERATIVE TREATMENT, BRACE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Efforts to treat spinal deformity have a long and fascinating history. The ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen are credited with early descriptions of the condition, management, and the term scoliosis, though even earlier references are seen in Hindu epics. The first known treatment techniques used axial traction and pressure. Subsequent cast correction required fixation of the pelvis and flattening of lumbar lordosis. Bracing superseded traction as the primary means to treat spinal deformities in the 1900s. The first spinal fusion surgery was performed in the 20th century. Scoliosis treatment was greatly improved with the recognition of the 3-dimensional nature of scoliosis and its symptoms. Advances in nonsurgical treatment alternatives included the Milwaukee brace and the subsequent development of underarm plastic braces, such as the Boston brace, the Wilmington brace, and the Cheneau brace. Today, treatment options include bracing, and scoliosis-specific exercises selected according to the curve type and severity, in addition to surgery.