What is scoliosis?
Everyone's spine has subtle natural curves. But some people have different curves, side-to-side spinal curves that also twist the spine. This condition is called "scoliosis". On an x-ray with a front or rear view of the body, the spine of a person with scoliosis looks more like an "S" or a "C" than a straight line.
These curves can make a person's shoulders or waist appear uneven. These curves can't be corrected simply by learning to stand up straight. You can't cause scoliosis; it does not come from carrying heavy backpacks, participating vigorously in sports, or poor posture.
What is the prevalence of scoliosis?
Scoliosis affects 2 - 3 percent of the population. However, the primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10-15 years old, occurring equally among both genders. Females are eight times more likely to progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment.
What are the causes for scoliosis?
Scoliosis can be classified by etiology: idiopathic, congenital or neuromuscular. Idiopathic scoliosis is the diagnosis when all other causes are excluded and comprises about 80 percent of all cases. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis and is usually diagnosed during puberty.
Congenital scoliosis results from embryological malformation of one or more vertebrae and may occur in any location of the spine. These abnormalities are present at birth, congenital scoliosis is usually detected at a younger age than idiopathic scoliosis.
Neuromuscular scoliosis encompasses scoliosis that is secondary to neurological or muscular diseases. This includes scoliosis associated with cerebral palsy, spinal cord trauma, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and spina bifida. This type of scoliosis generally progresses more rapidly than idiopathic scoliosis and often requires surgical treatment.