Symptoms, Causes, and General Information



Scoliosis is classified as an unnatural curvature of the spine. With scoliosis, the spine can round off to one side and curve back towards the middle of the back near the lower back (often resembling a “s” shape. Scoliosis is often discovered once a child hits their “growth spurt” during their adolescent years. Scoliosis may or may not require surgery and is typically surgically corrected if the curvature continues to progress or if the condition causes persistent pain, neurologic deficits or respiratory conditions. Those with scoliosis should be monitored by a physician to determine if the condition is progressing. An adult patient with a curve in the spine that is under 40 degrees should be able to avoid surgery.

Physical Signs of Scoliosis May Include:

• Visible curvature of the spine
•Shoulders at different height
•Head leaning toward one side
•One shoulder blade protruding further than the other
•Ribs higher than normal

Forms of Scoliosis

Idiopathic: This is the most common form of scoliosis and is usually sudden onset, most often during adolescence. The likelihood of the curvature of the spine is more common with idiopathic scoliosis.

Congenital: This form of scoliosis is caused by the abnormal formation of vertebrae during the embryonic stage of development. There does not seem to be any genetic link and the cause is unknown. Despite the abnormal formation of the vertebrae in the womb, the condition may not appear until adolescence.