Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis.
Feb. 03, 2012
- Scoliosis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
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- Scheri SA. Clinical features, evaluation and diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
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- Scherl SA. Treatment and prognosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- General nuclear medicine. American College of Radiology. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=gennuclear. Accessed Dec. 19, 2011.
- AskMayoExpert. For what spine conditions are bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) used at Mayo Clinic? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2010.
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