Archive for June, 2007

Causes of Scoliosis

Monday, June 25th, 2007

In 80 to 85 percent of people, the cause of scoliosis is unknown; this is called idiopathic scoliosis. Before concluding that a person has idiopathic scoliosis, the doctor looks for other possible causes, such as injury or infection. Causes of curves are classified as either nonstructural or structural.

Nonstructural (functional) scoliosis–A structurally normal spine that appears curved. This is a temporary, changing curve. It is caused by an underlying condition such as a difference in leg length, muscle spasms, or inflammatory conditions such as appendicitis. Doctors treat this type of scoliosis by correcting the underlying problem.

Structural scoliosis–A fixed curve that doctors treat case by case. Sometimes structural scoliosis is one part of a syndrome or disease, such as Marfan’s syndrome, an inherited connective tissue disorder. In other cases, it occurs by itself. Structural scoliosis can be caused by neuromuscular diseases (such as cerebral palsy, poliomyelitis, or muscular dystrophy), birth defects (such as hemivertebra, in which one side of a vertebra fails to form normally before birth), injury, certain infections, tumors (such as those caused by neurofibromatosis, a birth defect sometimes associated with benign tumors on the spinal column), metabolic diseases, connective tissue disorders, rheumatic diseases, or unknown factors (idiopathic scoliosis).


Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Types of Scoliosis

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Scoliosis may be divided into five principal types:

Idiopathic Scoliosis : This is the most common. The name idiopathic means “the cause is unknown.” Affected children are otherwise healthy and normal. The spine shows no abnormality of the bones themselves on X-rays or by looking at it directly in the operating room. While the overall incidence is equal in girls and boys, progressive or severe idiopathic scoliosis is about six to seven times more frequent in girls than in boys.

Congenital Scoliosis : Congenital means that the child is born with scoliosis, and it is caused by an abnormality of one or more vertebrae. The vertebrae don’t form properly, which can be seen on X-ray and directly in the operating room.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis : This is scoliosis that occurs in children who have a disease of the nervous system, such as cerebral palsy.

Syndromic Scoliosis : This type of scoliosis occurs in children with a syndrome, such as rfan syndrome, or one of the skeletal dysplasias such as achondroplasia.

Postural Scoliosis : Also known as “hysterical scoliosis,” postural scoliosis may be a result of pain, as the child tilts sideways to alleviate the pain. It can be reversed by taking care of the primary problem by relieving the pain or by having the child lie flat. X-rays don’t show any abnormality of the vertebrae.

Original Source