Scoliosis is an abnormal
curvature in the spine, often in the shape of a "C" or "S."
More to Know
Signs of scoliosis usually appear between the ages of 10 and 14, just before the
onset of puberty.
Someone with too much spinal curvature will usually have uneven hips or shoulders
(one side is higher than the other) or one shoulder blade that sticks out farther
than the other.
Usually, the cause of scoliosis is unknown and occurs in otherwise healthy kids
and adolescents. But it also can affect those with conditions such as cerebral
palsy or muscular
dystrophy. Scoliosis tends to run in families, and girls are much more likely
to develop severe cases.
Most of the time, scoliosis is mild enough that it doesn't interfere with everyday life
and can be left untreated. In some cases, doctors will have someone with scoliosis
wear a back brace.
If the curve gets severe, it can be visible and cause discomfort. It can also lead
to other health problems, possibly affecting the lungs, heart, and joints. In these
instances, surgery can correct the problem.
Keep in Mind
Most cases of scoliosis don't require treatment, but even when they do, kids and
teens usually can resume an active life after treatment.
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