Scoliosis or spinal deformity is a curvature of the spine. It can occur during childhood, known as idiopathic scoliosis, or during adulthood, known as degenerative scoliosis. Children should receive a screening as part of their routine check-up with the school nurse. Pediatricians also routinely check for scoliosis. Females are 9 times more likely to develop idiopathic scoliosis. It tends to run in families, however the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown.
Childhood scoliosis is generally treated with a brace; however, bracing is not effective for the treatment of scoliosis in adults. Bracing can halt the progression if the curve. It will not reverse the curve. The curvature can only be decreased through surgery. Patients with a diagnosis of scoliosis require an evaluation by a spine specialist. Genetic testing is available to predict the progression of childhood scoliosis in some children.