Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the vertebral column that typically occurs in children approaching puberty. 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic (Scoliosis Research Society, 2022). The severity of a scoliosis curve is measured in degrees and is usually diagnosed when it is greater than 10 degrees. A severe curve exceeds 45 to 60 degrees and can require surgical treatment (Scoliosis Reduction Center, 2020). Severe scoliosis causes physical deformities, such as unaligned ribs, hips, and shoulders, but also may reduce the amount of space in the chest, affecting the function of the heart and lungs (Mayo Clinic, 2022). The purpose of this project is to provide an array of educational materials to increase understanding of scoliosis and the surgical treatment of spinal fusion with growing rods. Currently, education about scoliosis and spinal fusion surgery is not easily accessible and information from the Internet can be overwhelming or scary to caregivers and patients during a stressful time in their lives. These materials will also allow a more effective use of time during patient-physician interactions, which can improve health care outcomes (Paterick et al., 2017). A combination of interactive models and animations will be used to create a network of digital material that will be provided to caregivers and patients in an understandable and accessible way. Patient education materials are an important way to introduce biocommunication into everyday life. This project could be a steppingstone into a more integrated relationship between medical illustrators, healthcare professionals, and the general public.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Scoliosis--Interactive multimedia--Design; Scoliosis in children--Interactive multimedia--Design; Scoliosis--Treatment--Interactive multimedia--Design; Scoliosis in children--Treatment--Interactive multimedia--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Medical Illustration(MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

Medical Illustration (CHST)


James Perkins

Advisor/Committee Member

Craig Foster

Advisor/Committee Member

David Borkholder


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes