What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a problem that makes the spine curve and twist from side-to-side, resembling a S-curve or a C-curve.

Scoliosis Screening
If a school screening or your doctor finds signs of scoliosis, your child will be referred to an orthopedic physician for further evaluation and treatment.

Signs of Scoliosis

  • One shoulder may be higher than the other
  • One shoulder blade may be higher or more prominent that the other
  • With the arms hanging loosely at the side, there may be more space between the arm and the body on one side
  • One hip may appear to be higher or more prominent than the other
  • The head is not centered over the pelvis

Why treat scoliosis?
A serious spinal curve that is not treated can get worse as you grow. Over time it can cause problems, including:

  • Back pain
  • Arthritis in the back
  • A twisted appearance
  • Clothes not fitting properly
  • Heart and breathing problems (rare)

How is it treated?
Treatments will vary based on age, how much growing is left, and the size and type of spinal curve. Three types of treatment for scoliosis are:

  • Observation: watching a small curve to see if it changes
  • Bracing: wearing a brace until spine is fully grown to keep a curve from getting worse
  • Surgery: operating to stop a very serious curve from getting worse

85% of people with scoliosis have "idiopathic" scoliosis which means "no known cause". Poor posture, lack of calcium, carrying heavy backpacks and book bags do not cause scoliosis.

For more information:
National Scoliosis Foundation (

Scoliosis Research Society (