Scoliosis is a common condition that affects many children and adolescents. Simply defined, scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine. Instead of a straight line down the middle of the back, a spine with scoliosis curves, sometimes looking like a letter "C" or "S."
Children with scoliosis and their parents have a lot of questions about the condition. Here, orthopaedic surgeons from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Scoliosis Research Society answer some of the questions they most commonly hear from patients and their parents.
There are several different types of scoliosis that affect children. By far, the most common type of scoliosis is "idiopathic," which means the exact cause is not known.
This article provides answers to questions parents and their children often have when first diagnosed with scoliosis. Information about causes, screenings, and current research is also included in this section.
In planning your child's treatment, your doctor will take into account how severe your child's curve is and where it occurs in the spine. Your child's age is also an important factor — if your child's spine is still growing, it will affect treatment choices. Your doctor will determine how likely it is that the curve will get worse, and then suggest treatment options to meet your child's specific needs.
This article answers common questions about treatment options, including bracing and alternative methods.
Most scoliosis surgeons agree that children who have very severe curves (50 degrees and higher) will need surgery to lessen the curve and prevent it from getting worse.
This article answers common questions about the surgical procedure, as well as questions about recovery.
Many details need to be considered when planning for scoliosis surgery. This article provides answers to common questions about cost, risks and complications, as well as concerns teenagers have about how they will look after surgery.
This section addresses questions teenagers often have about what adulthood is like with scoliosis.
Reviewed by members of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and the Scoliosis Research Society
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
6300 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018