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What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curving of the spine.
How can you tell if I have scoliosis?
It is often first noticed because one shoulder or one hip is higher
than the other. Your ribs may stick out more on one side. X-rays will
show if your spine is curved and where the curve is.
At what age does scoliosis develop?
It is usually noticed between the ages of 10 and 14 in girls and 12
and 14 in boys.
Is this a rare condition?
No. Although you may not know anyone with scoliosis, one in every ten
persons has some degree of curving of the spine.
What causes scoliosis? Why did I get it?
We do not know what causes it in 80 percent of the cases. We do know
that it runs in families, so your brothers and sisters should be
checked, and, in the future, any children you might have should be
checked for scoliosis, too.
Will I have back pain?
Most youngsters with scoliosis have no pain. In later years the
chance of having back pain is slightly greater than for the general
population without scoliosis.
Why do you have to treat scoliosis if it is hardly noticeable
and I don't have any pain?
It is treated to prevent your curve from getting worse. Without
treatment, your curve could become so severe that you might have
obvious physical deformity, back pain, and, in certain cases, heart
and lung problems.
What is the treatment for scoliosis?
There are different treatments, depending on how severely the spine
is curved. The doctor will know what your treatment should be after
looking at you and your X-rays. Sometimes no treatment will be
necessary, but you will need to make return visits for X-rays to make
sure your curve is not getting worse.
Bracing is sometimes needed, or, on occasion, surgery may be
Are there any scoliosis clubs or organizations?
Yes. There is a national scoliosis association which publishes a
newsletter four times a year. The address is:
The Scoliosis Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 811705
Boca Raton, FL 33481-1705
They will also know if there are any local scoliosis clubs near
It is important that you return for your scheduled appointment or
otherwise notify the clinic.
If you have any questions about scoliosis, please write them down
and bring them to your next appointment or call the clinic nurse at
(319) 356-3844. Clinic hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday