The most common type of scoliosis is called idiopathic scoliosis, which means there is no known case, but it can run in families. The following may increase your child's risk of scoliosis: He was born with a birth defect that increases the risk of scoliosis. Your doctor might also do an MRI to rule out things like a tumor that could cause your spine to curve. Read more about types, causes and treatment options. What causes scoliosis? Within that definition, there are many different types of scoliosis that can develop, and these vary in cause, location along the spine, and in which direction the curvature bends. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Management and prognosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Trying to determine what causes scoliosis is an involved question, as there are many forms of the disease, and each form can have different causes. Here’s a closer look at five causes of scoliosis. This usually causes one shoulder to appear higher than the other or makes the pelvis appear to tilt. Therefore, most causes of scoliosis are not known and it is impossible to prevent the condition. More than 80% of scoliosis cases, however, have no known cause. No one knows for sure why people get it, but research shows that it runs in families. That can cause your back to curve. If the cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is called idiopathic scoliosis. Someone may have a more obvious curve on one side of the rib cage on their back from twisting of the vertebrae and ribs. The nerve root or meninges create the main driving force causing the spine to coil down into scoliosis. Scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is a bit of a medical mystery. Pediatricians often do this kind of exam on children. Scoliosis can be classified by etiology: idiopathic, congenital or neuromuscular. Make a donation. Doctors may use the letters "C" and "S" to describe the curve. … If you have scoliosis, you might lean a little when you stand. There are many causes of scoliosis, including congenital spine deformities (those present at birth, either inherited or caused by the environment), genetic conditions, neuromuscular problems, and limb length inequality. Vaccine updates, safe care and visitor guidelines, and trusted coronavirus information, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, See our safety precautions in response to COVID-19, Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition, Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition, Mayo Clinic Q and A: Scoliosis most often develops during growth spurt just before puberty, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special - 40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online. End result of the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, often appearing like an ‘S-shape’ as it twists and curves. 1941;23:963. Scoliosis shows up most often during growth spurts, usually when kids are between 10 and 15 years old. And what about poor posture? Shands AR. Sometimes, the spine appears to be curved because of a difference in leg length. Scoliosis can cause … If you or one of your children has this condition, make sure your other kids are checked regularly. In fact, most cases are considered idiopathic, although some potentially contributory circumstances might be identified in any given patient profile. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Neurologic disorders should be considered in patients with neurologic deficits or findings such as midline hairy patches and café au lait spots. Unknown causes . For some children, scoliosis happens when another disease or disorder, or trauma causes the curving spine. The Cause of Idiopathic Scoliosis: Involuntary Muscle Contraction. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2019. In cases of neuromuscular scoliosis… Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal sideways spinal curvature that coincides with rotation. Babies can also be born with the condition. What causes scoliosis? Occasionally, teachers, friends and sports teammates are the first to notice a child's scoliosis. The doctor will initially take a detailed medical history and may ask questions about recent growth. The many causes of scoliosis include neuromuscular problems and inherited diseases or conditions caused by the environment. Scoliosis Research Society: "Frequently Asked Questions," "Scoliosis," "Diagnosing Scoliosis," "Neuromuscular Scoliosis," "Scoliosis Surgery Techniques. What causes scoliosis? In cases of congenital scoliosis, the spinal curvature is a structural abnormality that is present at birth.. Congenital scoliosis can … He has a family member with scoliosis, especially if both parents had scoliosis. Small curves are equally common is girls and boys for small curves, but large curves are seven times more likely to occur in girls than boys. The child may look like he or she is leaning to one side. The spine. In forms of scoliosis where the cause is known, it’s easier to understand why it gets worse. Muscle weakness 2. Scoliosis is an abnormality of the spine in which the spine curves abnormally to the side (laterally).. Idiopathic scoliosis isn't caused by things like carrying a heavy … Adult scoliosis may be a case of pediatric scoliosis that was undiscovered until adulthood. The angle of the curve may be small, large, or somewhere in between. What are the symptoms of scoliosis? It then becomes more important to understand why growth triggers progression, rather than what caused the condition’s development. Abnormal reflexes This is called idiopathic scoliosis. If your back looks curved, they'll likely do an X-ray to see whether it's scoliosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Instead, your doctor might watch you and take X-rays once in a while to see if it's getting worse. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. The curve is usually "S"- or "C"-shaped over three dimensions. To make this a more complicated endeavor, the most common form of scoliosis, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, has no known causes at all. A child with scoliosis has a spine with an S or C shape. There are several causes of scoliosis, including problems in the skeletal structure and abnormal growths in the spinal column. Idiopathic scoliosis is scoliosis without a known cause. This may have you wondering what exactly causes it and what risk factors are involved. The precise causes of degenerative scoliosis or associated spinal osteoarthritis are not known, but the condition is clearly aggravated by daily wear … While some cases are caused by congenital structural abnormalities or neurological or muscular diseases, the vast majority—around 85%—are of unknown cause. ", American Family Physician: "Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Diagnosis and Management.". Scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spine. Doctors think that a mix of factors may lead to the disorder, such as genes and hormones. In most cases, there is no known cause of scoliosis. This is called idiopathic scoliosis or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis … This happens for a number of reasons, such as having one leg that's longer than the other, muscle spasms, and inflammations like appendicitis. Scoliosis is a condition that affects the curvature of the spine causing it to curve unnaturally. The most common form of adult scoliosis is degenerative (spine curves as you age). ", The Spine Hospital at the Neurological Institute of New York: "Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis," "Degenerative Scoliosis. Read more about types, causes and treatment options. Not every case of scoliosis can be definitely traced to a known origin. In an individual with scoliosis, the spine's curve is shaped like an S or C, and the severity of the condition may increase over time. The abnormal curves of the spine are defined according to their cause: Nonstructural scoliosis. However, researchers have found there is a family history of the condition in some idiopathic cases, which suggests a possible genetic link. For idiopathic scoliosis, family history and genetics can be risk factors. If your child isnât able to stand upright, ask your doctor to look at their spine. Scoliosis is a condition of side-to-side spinal curves. Scoliosis in children and adolescents. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. The same is true for adults. Muscular Dystrophy MuscularDystrophyAssociation. Congenital scoliosis is usually the result of one side of a vertebra not fully forming. (Repost) Scoliosis is an abdominal curvature of the spine. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. normal spine has several front-to-back curves between the neck and the pelvis Lumbar scoliosis can make one hip look taller than the other or one leg look longer than the other. Problems with the tiny bones in the back, called vertebrae, can cause the spine to curve. ", "Preventing Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries in Youth: A Guide for Parents. Shaughnessy WJ (expert opinion). In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. With scoliosis, even if those initial cause/causes have been resolved, once that structural change has occurred and the body has grown with it, the effects remain. When doctors can identify what causes scoliosis, it’s usually because of these reasons: birth defects, injuries, infections, abnormal growth, or diseases (like multiple sclerosis, metabolic diseases, rheumatoid disease, or neuromuscular diseases). It usually develops in the lower back as the disks and joints of the spine begin to wear out as you age. In most cases, doctors don’t know why scoliosis happens in children. It is a medical condition in which a persons spinal axis has a three-dimensional deviation. Accessed May 3, 2019. But anything that measures more than 10 degrees on an X-ray is considered scoliosis. In almost 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. What Causes Scoliosis in Children? WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Some children grow out of scoliosis. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Accessed May 3, 2019. You don't have control over whether you get scoliosis. Viewed from the side, the normal spine takes the form of an elongated S, the upper back bowing outward and the lower back curving slightly inward. Scherl SA. Keep reading to reveal what condition involving the progressive weakening of muscles can cause scoliosis next. Degenerative scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis … What causes degenerative scoliosis? For some children, scoliosis happens when another disease or disorder, or trauma causes … Viewed from behind though, the spine should appear as a straight line from the base of the neck to the tailbone. Congenital scoliosis begins as a babyâs back develops before birth. Scoliosis from osteoporosis is a very typical cause of developed scoliosis in older people. Other causes for scoliosis include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and tumors. Scoliosis is regarded as mysterious and incurable by many people in the medical community. It's in your genes. ", National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Questions and Answers about Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents," What Is Scoliosis? In nonstructural scoliosis, the spine works normally but looks curved. But, research has shown that any discrepancy to the vertebral column during the development of an individual, may give rise to scoliosis. But a curved spine may cause a noticeable lean. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. The cause of scoliosis is often not identified. In these conditions, there is a breakdown either in the body’s control system (the brain) or the nerves that connect the brain to the muscles, or the muscles themselves cannot work correctly. Kliegman RM, et al. Scoliosis diagnosed during the teen years can continue into adulthood. The cause of adult scoliosis varies depending on the type of scoliosis. Other potential causes include spinal tumors such as osteoid osteoma, a benign tumor that can occur in the spine and cause pain. About eight out of every 10 cases of scoliosis are idiopathic. You have them stand up straight, then bend down at the waist while bringing their forehead to their belly button and roll the back forward while bending. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Arthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis of the Spine, Injections for Back Pain: What You Need to Know, Actor Shailene Woodley has learned to take her scoliosis in stride, Scoliosis: Tests Your Doctor Uses for Diagnosis, Shoulders, a waist, or hips that look uneven, Ribs that stick out farther on one side of your body than the other. Often, it first shows up when you're a child or teenager. Introduction to scoliosis. Causes of Scoliosis: Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by a disorder like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or a spinal cord injury. The cause of scoliosis often can’t be determined. Ferri FF. Doctors don't know what causes the most common type of scoliosis — although it appears to involve hereditary factors, because the disorder tends to run in families. Scherl SA. In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. In some cases, however, scoliosis does have a clear cause. This type of scoliosis is known as idiopathic scoliosis and is most common in adolescent girls. Severe scoliosis ca… Idiopathic scoliosis is of three types: Â© 2005 - 2021 WebMD LLC. Scoliosis is a deformity of the backbone (spine). This is known as idiopathic scoliosis and accounts for about eight out of every 10 cases. 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And special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn.! Often appearing like an ‘ S-shape ’ as it twists and curves there is no known cause textbooks carry... Reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for lungs. Occurs when the curvature if necessary a child 's risk of scoliosis causes curvature that coincides with rotation be by. Noticeable lean are 10 times more likely to get worse and may need surgery to the! Way to prevent the condition any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the side spine begin to a... Reading to reveal what condition involving the spine curves or twists to the disorder is referred as! Typical cause of scoliosis in older people Guide for Parents and may need to be.. Of Orthopaedic Surgeons: `` adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a very typical cause of scoliosis is the most mart a! Defined according to their cause: nonstructural scoliosis, accounting for anywhere from 80-85 percent of scoliosis,. 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