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: 5/22/2018 12:07:09 PM

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Avi Baitner, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with the Orthopedic Surgery Program.


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