Scoliosis
 

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front. Kyphosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent forward. Lordosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent backward. People with scoliosis develop additional curves to either side, and the bones of the spine twist on each other like a corkscrew.
Scoliosis is about two times more common in girls than boys. It can be seen at any age, but it is most common in those over 10 years old. Scoliosis is hereditary in that people with scoliosis are more likely to have children with scoliosis; however, there is no correlation between the severity of the curve from one generation to the next.

What causes scoliosis?

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown (idiopathic). This type of scoliosis is described based on the age when scoliosis develops. If the person is less than 3 years old, it is called infantile idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis that develops between 3 and 10 years of age is called juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, and people that are over 10 years old have adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
There are three other main types of scoliosis:

Functional: In this type of scoliosis, the spine is normal, but an abnormal curve develops because of a problem somewhere else in the body. This could be caused by one leg being shorter than the other or by muscle spasms in the back.

Neuromuscular: In this type of scoliosis, there is a problem when the bones of the spine are formed. Either the bones of the spine fail to form completely, or they fail to separate from each other. This type of scoliosis develops in people with other disorders including birth defects, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or Marfan's disease. If the curve is present at birth, it is called congenital. This type of scoliosis is often much more severe and needs more aggressive treatment than other forms of scoliosis.


   

 

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