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How Common Is Scoliosis?

About 1 out of 100 people in the general population has some type of scoliosis.1 Fortunately, most cases of scoliosis are mild.

Scoliosis usually starts in childhood. Scoliosis that is bad enough to need treatment is most common in girls.

Mild or small curves are more common than moderate or severe curves. About 10 out of 100 children who are diagnosed with scoliosis require treatment (either bracing or surgery).2

Scoliosis tends to run in families. Children—especially daughters—of women who have scoliosis are at increased risk for having scoliosis.1

Citations

  1. Hu SS, et al. (2006). Scoliosis section of Disorders, diseases and injuries of the spine. In HB Skinner, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Orthopedics, 4th ed., chap. 5, pp. 255–269. New York: Lange Medical/McGraw-Hill.

  2. Staheli LT (2006). Scoliosis section of Spine and pelvis. In Practice of Pediatric Orthopedics, pp. 210–219. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last RevisedJuly 21, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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