Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity and occurs in 2-3% of the general population. It is characterized by a lateral curvature of the spine of at least 10 degrees. In severe cases, a person might have long term problems related to the physical deformity, including possible surgery, lung problems and back pain.
Idiopathic scoliosis is often identified during a child’s adolescent growth spurt, at their routine physical exam. The final diagnosis is done through standing spinal x-rays. However, it can be difficult to determine which curves will get worse and need treatment. Treatment options are limited to observation, physical therapy, bracing and surgery and focus on the physical symptoms and cosmetic deformity.
Scientists and doctors have noted that scoliosis occurs in families, is more severe in females, and usually occurs in every generation of a family. This has led clinicians to believe that the causes of scoliosis are related to the genes of an individual and family.
Learn more about Scoliosis
Childrens's Hospital Colorado Conditions & Symptoms - Scoliosis
Children's Hospital Colorado Spine Program
Scoliosis Research Society