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Scoliosis - Medical Animation

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Scoliosis - Medical Animation
This animation may only be used in support of a single legal proceeding and for no other purpose. Read our License Agreement for details. To license this animation for other purposes, click here.

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Scoliosis - Medical Animation
The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of each other. The vertebrae protect a bundle of nerve fibers called the spinal cord. It runs through an opening in the center of each vertebra. The main sections of the spine are the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions. Looking at it from the side, the spine normally has three curves. A C in the cervical spine, a reverse C in the thoracic spine, and another C in the lumbar spine. Viewed from behind, the spine should appear to be completely straight up and down. Scoliosis is a condition where the spine has an abnormal side-to-side curve. Most cases of scoliosis have no known cause. In some cases, scoliosis may be present at birth. In other cases, it may occur over time. The most common cause in adults is asymmetric degeneration of the disks, causing the spine to be tilted to one side or the other. Causes may include cerebral palsy, paralysis, muscular dystrophy, osteoporosis, or spinal fractures. During childhood, the spinal curve usually becomes worse during periods of rapid growth. If the curve becomes severe, it can cause problems with posture, walking, and back pain. It can also cause the internal organs to become cramped for space, causing heart, , breathing and digestion problems. Scoliosis is often treated with a brace to stop the curve from getting worse. Doctors will measure the spinal curve over time to see if the brace is working. For an adolescent, a surgical procedure may be necessary if the brace isn't working or if a brace is not an option. For an adult with scoliosis, a surgical procedure may be necessary if they are experiencing numbness or weakness in their legs, or if they're having progressively worse back pain that does not improve with non-surgical treatments. The most common surgical procedure to repair scoliosis is called posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation and bone grafting. To begin, the surgeon will make an opening over the area of the curve in the spine. The surfaces of the vertebrae will be roughened to help stimulate the bones to heal together. The surgeon will place screws, hooks, or wires into the vertebrae. Rods will be placed alongside the vertebrae and attached to the screws, hooks, or wires in order to straighten the spine. The surgeon may remove small pieces of bone from the ribs or hip bone to use as bone grafts. Other times, the surgeon may choose to use donor bone from a bone bank for grafting. The surgeon will place the bone grafts along the spine to allow the vertebrae a grow together and keep the spine stable. At the end of the procedure, the skin incision will be closed with stitches.

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What attorneys say about MLA and The Doe Report:
"Whether it's demonstrating a rotator cuff tear, neck movement a few milliseconds after rear impact, or a proposed lumbar fusion, the Doe Report represents an instant on-line database of medical illustration for health-care and legal professionals.

Illustrations can be purchased 'as is' or modified within hours and sent either electronically or mounted on posterboard. An illustration is worth a thousand words, as juries perk up and look intently to capture concepts that are otherwise too abstract. Start with good illustrations, a clear and direct voice, a view of the jury as 12 medical students on day one of training, and your expert testimony becomes a pleasure, even on cross examination. An experienced trial lawyer should also emphasize these illustrations at the end of trial, as a means of visually reinforcing key concepts covered.

As a treating physician, I also use these accurate illustrations to educate my own patients about their medical conditions. The Doe Report is an invaluable resource, and its authors at MLA have always been a pleasure to work with."

Richard E. Seroussi M.D., M.Sc.
Diplomate, American Boards of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and PM&R
Seattle Spine & Rehabilitation Medicine

"I wanted to take some time out to let you know what a wonderful job you did with the 'collapsed lung/fractured rib' illustrations. They were both detailed and accurate. My medical expert was comfortable working with them and he spent at least an hour explaining to the jury the anatomy of the lungs, the ribs and the injuries depicted in the illustrations. Needless to say, the jury was riveted to the doctor during his testimony.

The jury returned a verdict for $800,000.00 and I'm sure we would not have done so well if not for the visualizations we were able to put forth with your assistance. Lastly, my special thanks to Alice [Senior Medical Illustrator] who stayed late on Friday night and patiently dealt with my last minute revisions."

Daniel J. Costello
Proner & Proner
New York, NY

"The Doe Report's Do-It-Yourself Exhibits program enables easy customization of complex medical exhibits at a reasonable expense and in a timely manner. Practically speaking, custom medical exhibits are no longer an unthinkable luxury, but a routine necessity."

Jack S. Cohen
Levy, Angstreich, Finney, Baldante & Coren
Philadelphia, PA

"This past year, your company prepared three medical illustrations for our cases; two in which we received six figure awards; one in which we received a substantial seven figure award. I believe in large part, the amounts obtained were due to the vivid illustrations of my clients' injuries and the impact on the finder of fact."

Donald W. Marcari
Marcari Russotto & Spencer, P.C.
Chesapeake, VA
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