Want to know more about spinal problems in adults and adolescents?

Here are the facts on one of the most important causes of back pain.

We know: All About Scoliosis

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition that occurs when the spine of the back improperly curves from side to side, somewhat like a corkscrew. This can cause the bones in the spine to rotate, making a person's waist or shoulders look uneven.

Who is affected by scoliosis?

About 2 percent of all people have the condition. It tends to run in families. In most cases, scoliosis develops before or during adolescence. It's more common in girls than boys. It can also develop in adulthood, especially as people age.

What causes scoliosis?

The cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Heredity appears to contribute. It often occurs in children who have other conditions such as cerebral palsy, spinal bifida and muscular dystrophy. But, it can also occur in children who do not have these diseases.

In adults, scoliosis is often associated with problems related to aging, such as osteoporosis.

What are the results of scoliosis?

If not addressed, scoliosis can result in severe back pain, deformity, posture fatigue, breathing problems and heart failure.

What are the signs of scoliosis?

To help detect scoliosis in children eight and over, watch for uneven shoulders, leaning to one side, irregular waist, protruding shoulder blades, and elevated hips.

What about treatment?

If you think your or your child may have scoliosis, see your doctor. Once it is detected, an orthopaedist can monitor the situation. If the spine continues to curve, a brace may be necessary. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The most common surgical treatment is a spine fusion and bone graft.

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