What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a common condition that affects many children and adolescents. Simply put, it is a curvature of the spine. When viewed from the front, a spine usually looks like the letter “I”. A spine with scoliosis curves to the right or the left, looking more like the letter “C” or “S”. Scoliosis often develops during puberty when kids are growing very quickly. Small curves occur in boys and girls equally, however, girls are more likely to go on to develop larger curves that need to be treated.

Often times, a curve will initially get discovered at a school screening or a regular check-up with the pediatrician. It is rarely associated with pain, and kids with scoliosis are still able to do all the activities and sports that kids without scoliosis can do.

What does scoliosis look like?

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Curved back
  • Uneven waist
  • Appearing to lean to one side
  • A bump on the back appears when leaning forward

medical illustration of a your woman with curved spine.

Reviewed by: Stephen G George, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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