Texas Governor Abbott Signs Enhanced Scoliosis Screening Bill

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1076, which will update the state’s scoliosis screening standards to reflect the latest science.

San Antonio orthopaedic surgeon Will Koeck, MD testifying on scoliosis with Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas)

The measure was sponsored by Representative Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Spring) and Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas).

A groundbreaking 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine affirmed that a back brace can slow the progression of scoliosis when it is found 1940s. However, a rigorous study of the effectiveness of bracing was not completed until 2013.

The alternative to bracing, surgery, can be painful and result in a lengthy recovery. As a result, Texas lawmakers embraced the concept of screening children at earlier ages to identify scoliosis in the initial stages.

HB 1076 will direct the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to develop new screening standards for Texas schools that include new ages for the screenings. Existing statute requires screening of both males and females in the 7th and 9th grades. However, spine experts believe that the spine has developed too much by those ages for bracing to be effective.