Scoliosis is not seen as a disease, but rather describes an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. There may be a single curve, in the shape of the letter C, or two curves, in the shape a letter S.
Scoliosis can be idiopathic (adolescent), degenerative (adults), congenital (develops in utero) or neuromuscular (individuals with muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy). Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common and is prevalent in children. The term idiopathic means it has no known cause.
Risk factors for developing idiopathic scoliosis include age, sex and family history. Signs and symptoms occur most often during a growth spurt just before puberty, typically between the ages of nine and fifteen years. Both boys and girls usually develop mild scoliosis at the same rate, but girls tend to have a higher risk of the curve worsening, requiring further treatment and management strategies. Click here to read more.