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 11:43:48 AM

From the Newsdesk

Haley's Success Story
Growing up, Haley Gantt suffered from scoliosis. She had to wear a back brace to prevent her curve from worsening, but unfortunately, she was later told that a spinal fusion surgery would have to be considered because the brace had failed to prevent the curve from progressing. She fought hard and got through it. An accomplished basketball player, Haley is now on her way to playing Division II basketball for Biola University in Southern California.
April Patient of the Month: Lucky
Lucky started going to physical therapy when he was two because of the delays with sitting up and rolling over. His physical therapist noticed that the problem was not muscular but skeletal, a condition that she couldn't treat. The pediatrician told Janie and Greg, Lucky’s parents, about Nicklaus Children's Hospital. When Janie and Greg visited Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, they met Dr. Harry L Shufflebarger, Pediatric Spinal Surgery Director. He performed the necessary surgeries and now Lucky can enjoy a healthy life.

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What is the best treatment for idiopathic scoliosis? Treatment options will be determined for each patient by an orthopedic specialist.