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Definition of «Scoliosis»


Scoliosis: Sideways (lateral) curving of the spine (the backbone).

The degree of scoliosis may range from mild to severe. Scoliosis is often an incidental and harmless finding. People with mild curves may only need to visit the doctor periodically for observation. Persons with more severe scoliosis may require treatment -- bracing, casting or surgical correction. Of every 1,000 children, 3 to 5 develop spinal curves that are considered severe enough to need treatment.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis ("idiopathic" means "of unknown cause") is the most common type and appears after the age of 10. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. Scoliosis can run in families so that a child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked regularly for this condition.

Kyphosis is a related but distinct condition. It is an outward curvature of the spine which results in a humped back.

Kyphoscoliosis refers to a combination of kyphosis and scoliosis in which the spine is twisted and curved both outwardly and sideways.

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