The global magnitude of scoliosis 2015 Statistics and Moral duty: why can’t it be better?

Global magnitude of scoliosis 2015 Statistics scoliosis treatments.Scoliose statistieken, behandelingen

Over centuries, many books have been written about the mystery of idiopathic scoliosis. Through Internet thousands of research projects and many websites share information about scientific research, conservative treatments, surgeries, bracing, chronicle-and non- communicable diseases etc. and one finds also stories of patients, parents and peers.

Prominently absent in these are the statistics on scoliosis, for example on:

  • The number of patients worldwide,
  • The number of operations per year etc.
  • The number of bracing.

In order to provide a complete picture about the greatness of the global magnitude of scoliosis statistics will be needed, that is why we have made a realistic estimation based upon various data sources. We expect that the actual figures to be higher.

The results show that scoliosis is a major global problem. Directly involved are the 28 million patients, mostly children in the age of 10-16 years, suffering from scoliosis. Therefore indirectly involved are the parents, siblings, partners, carers, etc. whom are also dealing with the daily discomforts of scoliosis (In total, over 100 million people). Shortly, a serious number of people which lives daily are exposed inadvertently to the discomforts of this disorder, which is overshadowing their daily living.

It is expected that in the upcoming years the number of patients will increase dramatically. We therefore are convinced that the current local and national policies to reduce the problems associated with scoliosis, doesn’t have the correct efficacy and will lead on the long term to further growth of the number of scoliosis patients and an increasing amount of operations.

It is estimated that there are over 36 million scoliosis patients in 2050, which is an increase of 8 million patients in 35 years. (Due to natural growth of population)

                                            Patients                                          Operations

2015:                    28 million scoliosis patients                    2,8 million operations.

2033:                   32 million scoliosis patients                    3,2 million operations.

2050:                   36 million scoliosis patients                    3,6 million operations.


To turn the tide, it is sensible and advisable to approach the problem from a different perspective.

It is generally assumed that the methods which currently are being used in the ‘scoliosis’ treatment are the right ones and work sufficiently and effective for the treatment of scoliosis. But, is this assumption realistic?

The statistics show, that despite the lack of absence of a more efficient and prophylactic approach, the number of scoliosis patients will continue to increase, (as a natural result of the world population growth) with 250,000 patients every year. All treatments, as well as conservative and operatively, are aimed at controlling the symptoms of scoliosis and don’t provide the desired results. The effort required of the patient are not disproportionate by the results to be achieved.


Average treatment Scoliosis patients

                                                              Every year                             every day

  • Surgeries                                      2,800,000                                   7700
  • Braces                                            600,000                                      1650
  • X-rays                                           42,000,000                                120,000
  • Consults physician                   56,000,000                                150,000
  • Orthotics                                     2,400,000                                  6600
  • Cons.treatments                        728,000,000                             2,000,000



Since time immemorial, doctors, scientists and philosophers are searching for the best possible treatment options for patients. Hippocrates of Cos, treated already 400 years BC patients with scoliosis and kept on searching solutions for many diseases his whole life. Hippocrates greatness as a moral teacher, acknowledge as a world figure, still inspires at the present time millions of people with his pioneering ideas and continues to inspire humanity.

Hippocrates statue, founder of the name scoliosis.

Perhaps it is time to let go the generally accepted consideration towards the treatment of scoliosis and throw another tack.

The World Health Organization concluded the following about non-communicable diseases (Scoliosis is a chronicle-and also called non- communicable disease.):

‘An important way to reduce NCDs is to focus on lessening the risk factors associated with these diseases. Low-cost solutions exist to reduce the common modifiable risk factors (mainly tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol) and map the epidemic of NCDs and their risk factors. 

Other ways to reduce NCDs are high impact essential NCD interventions that can be delivered through a primary health-care approach to strengthen early detection and timely treatment. Evidence shows that such interventions are excellent economic investments because, if applied to patients early, can reduce the need for more expensive treatment. These measures can be implemented in various resource levels. The greatest impact can be achieved by creating healthy public policies that promote NCD prevention and control and reorienting health systems to address the needs of people with such diseases’; Says The World Health Organization.

Combining the above statement of the W.H.O. on lessening the risk factors, together with the current policy on scoliosis treatments, will never lead to any satisfactory results. (Evidence: increase 250.000 patients every year), so…

Does approaching with a fresh perspective, with a more efficient and intelligent approach, bring the solution for a future successful treatment?

Will it directly result in stabilization or reduction on the growth in the number of scoliosis patients and operations on the long term?

Who knows?  If we don’t try and explore we will never know.

Successful treatment is only truly successful when scoliosis will be prevented, stops growing and avoids surgery.

What is the moral of this epistle?

My personal opinion is that we owe it to all 28 million children, suffering and struggling every day with idiopathic scoliosis, to remain committed on finding better solutions to improve their lives and therefore we must always continue to ask ourselves the question:


Why can’t it be better?


Please pass this article on to people who might be interested and share the same opinion. Join and help.




Book: Hippocrates of Cos, Manolis S. Kiapokas.

Medical care hospital records or my daughter, operated for scoliosis in O.L.V.G. Amsterdam.

Medical care health insurance records, or my daughter; IZA health insurance, the Netherlands.



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About the author /

My keybusiness is to analyze problems with a fresh view, to connect between unexplored existing possibilities and create structural solutions in complicated matters.

Contact Ingrid M.J. Kersten

Connect logical matters, primarily based on my parental experience and practical thinking. Inventive, curious and always searching for better solutions.

Ingrid M.J. Kersten
Arnhem, the Netherlands