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2 May 2013

Is There a Orthopedic Conflict of Interest?

Do orthopedists fail to suggest early-intervention or alternative scoliosis treatments because of a conflict of interest?

Why do orthopedists discourage alternative scoliosis treatments even if patients show improvement from them?

      The medical approach to scoliosis treatment is to watch and wait, brace and then operate. During the “wait and see” period Orthopedists generally do not advise patients of alternative treatment options and some even laugh or scoff at the slightest suggestion. Patients are made to feel absurd if they want to pursue proactive or preventative treatments during this pre-brace/pre-surgery period and instead are advised to just sit idly while their curves progress until bracing or surgery become “necessary”. Some parents choose to research treatment and opt to try alternative treatments anyway and upon re-evaluation by their doctor are told they are wasting their time! Parents are belittled and made to feel negligent and are even harassed by their orthopedist.
      If there are far less risks involved with alternative treatments, they are received while patients are in the “wait & see” period, and if these treatments show improvement to the patient’s scoliosis, then why is the medically community so against them?
      In Scoliosis and the Human Spine, a book written by Martha C. Hawes, Ph.D, Dr. Hawes (a research scientist  who herself has a large scoliosis) outlines what appears to be a “conflict of interest”. The conflict of interests center around the medical community’s lack of regard for an exercise based program of scoliosis care and correction.
      Martha C. Hawes, Ph.D, author and patient.