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All about scoliosis causes of scoliosis symptoms of scoliosis diagnosis of scoliosis scoliosis treatment

What causes scoliosis?

In most (80 to 85 percent) cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown - a condition called idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis is more common in females than males. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, three to five out of every 1,000 children develop spinal curves that are considered large enough to require

treatment. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in cooperation with the Scoliosis Research Society, describe three different types of scoliosis that can occur in children - congenital (present at birth), neuromuscular, or idiopathic.

Scoliosis runs in families and may involve genetic (hereditary) factors. But researchers haven't identified the gene or genes that may cause scoliosis. Doctors also recognize that spinal cord and brainstem abnormalities play a role in some cases of scoliosis. Genetic defects that cause altered processing in the brain may play a role in producing abnormalities in the growing spine. For example, interesting research has implicated low levels of melatonin, a hormone secreted in the brain that is involved with sleep and growth. Researchers speculate that genetic factors that cause reduced blood levels of melatonin may adversely affect muscle tone and development during sleep, perhaps contributing to scoliosis.

Nonstructural (functional) scoliosis is a temporary condition when the spine is otherwise normal. The curvature occurs as the result of another problem. Examples include 1 leg being shorter than another from muscle spasms or from appendicitis. In structural scoliosis, the spine is not normal. The curvature is caused by another disease process such as a birth defect, muscular dystrophy, metabolic diseases, connective tissue disorders, or Marfan syndrome. Congenital scoliosis is caused by inborn spinal deformities that may result in the development of absent or fused vertebrae. Kidney problems, particularly having only one kidney, often coincide with congenital scoliosis.


More information on scoliosis

What is scoliosis? - Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. In most cases this curvature develops during childhood and adolescence.
What causes scoliosis? - Congenital scoliosis is caused by inborn spinal deformities that may result in the development of absent or fused vertebrae.
What're the symptoms of scoliosis? - The symptoms of scoliosis may resemble other spinal conditions or deformities, or may be a result of an injury or infection.
How is scoliosis diagnosed? - X-rays are the most cost-efficient method for diagnosing scoliosis. X-rays show the precise angles of curvature.
What is the treatment for scoliosis? - Most cases of idiopathic scoliosis are mild and require no treatment. Surgery may be recommended when the curve measures 50 degrees or more.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

Bone diseases
Bone tumors
Bone cancer
Muscle diseases
Spine (neck and back) disorders
Dupuytren's contracture
Plantar fasciitis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Septic arthritis (infectious Arthritis)
Psoriatic arthritis
Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Gout (gouty arthritis)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005