Understanding Health Conditions

Scoliosis

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine which often occurs in childhood just before the onset of puberty. Conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy can cause scoliosis but in most cases there is no obvious cause. It affects approximately 3% of school-aged children in Australia and is up to 10 times more common in girls than in boys.

The condition is generally not painful although the shoulders and hips of children with scoliosis may appear uneven and is often an indication of the condition being present. Most cases of scoliosis are mild and can be managed conservatively. However, severe cases of scoliosis can be disabling, reducing the amount of space in the chest and making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

Types of Scoliosis

There are three main types of scoliosis:

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