Scoliosis is a lateral curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. When viewed from the side, the spine shows a mild roundness in the upper back and inward curvature of the lower back. The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic; it is present at birth and may be inherited. Other types include neuromuscular scoliosis and degenerative scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis usually affects those ages 10-16, progressing during the growth years. Some clues that a child may have scoliosis include uneven shoulders, a prominent shoulder blade, uneven waist, or leaning to one side. Diagnosis includes a bone exam and an X-ray to evaluate the magnitude of the curve. Treatment for scoliosis includes back braces, and in more severe cases, surgery that involves joining the vertebrae together permanently (spinal fusion). Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage of scoliosis, what it looks like, its symptoms, treatment, and much more.
What are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?
How do you know you've got scoliosis? Learn the symptoms in both children and adults.
Scoliosis: Tests Your Doctor Uses for Diagnosis
To screen you for scoliosis, your doctor will start with a physical exam. Follow-up tests will help measure the curve of your backbone. WebMD tells you what to expect and how doctors will know if you have this condition.
An Overview of Scoliosis
People with scoliosis have a spine that curves to the side. Is this back problem caused by poor posture? WebMD explains what it is and what causes it.
The way to deal with your scoliosis depends on how severe the curve of your back is. Treatment may include observation, a brace or surgery.