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Patients aged 6 to 85 years
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The Scoliosis Tree
 

Scoliosis
Description

''Scoliosis is not that unusual, about 0.7% of the population have it!''

Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine, its name being Greek for curvature.

It usually involves a twisting of the rib cage in thoracic (chest) curves or one hip being higher than the other in lumbar (lower) curves. This because as the spine bends to the side, the vertebrae become twisted and in the process they pull the ribs round. This curvature can be to the right (80% of cases) or to the left. It can develop anywhere along the spine, although the thoracic or lumbar regions are the most common. It will either result in a single (C-curve) or a double (S-shaped curve). S-shaped curves are generally less noticeable because the two curves counteract each other.

It usually develops in early teenage years, when - especially at the start of the adolescent growth spurt - it can progress rapidly. Treatment is generally bracing or surgery, although alternative methods are becoming increasingly preferred.

Scoliosis is not that unusual, about 0.7% of the population have it. Of this total 80% of scoliosis patients are girls, 75% is idiopathic and 25% is due to genetic inheritance and only 3% of people diagnosed with scoliosis will need specialist supervision including 1% who will eventually have surgery.

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