Idiopathic Scoliosis

Also known as: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, scoliosis

What is idiopathic scoliosis?

When the spine begins to curve sideways rather than being straight, this medical condition is known as scoliosis. Of the many different types of scoliosis, idiopathic scoliosis is the most common. Idiopathic simply means that the cause is not known.

What causes idiopathic scoliosis?

As the name suggests, the specific cause of idiopathic scoliosis is unknown. We know that it often runs in families, but this is not always the case.

What are the symptoms of idiopathic scoliosis?

Physical symptoms are typical of idiopathic scoliosis. They can include uneven shoulders, waistline or hip, or the ribs being more prominent on one side of the body than the other. It does not usually cause pain.

What are idiopathic scoliosis care options?

In mild cases, idiopathic scoliosis may not require any treatment. Bracing can help prevent idiopathic scoliosis from getting worse. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.


Reviewed by: Stephen Graham George Jr., MD

This page was last updated on: November 26, 2019 03:32 PM

Center for Spine Disorders & Scoliosis Surgery

Providing treatment for spine disorders for over 35 years and pioneering surgical spine treatments now in use around the world

Learn more

Learn more about

Scoliosis Brace

A scoliosis brace is a non-surgical treatment for scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. It consists of a plastic jacket that wraps around the torso, stretching from the arms to the hips. Straps keep the brace in place as it works at straightening the spine or preventing the curve from getting worse. Learn more

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery helps to stop the progression of curving of the spine, known as scoliosis. The surgery helps to not only straighten the curve, but can improve children’s posture, fit of clothing, prevent back pain, and minimize other side effects of scoliosis. Learn more