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Scoliosis

A sideways curvature of the spine.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

About Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine, or backbone. The bones that make up the spine are called vertebrae. Some people who have scoliosis require treatment. Other people, who have milder curves, may need to visit their doctor for periodic observation only.

Who Gets Scoliosis?

People of all ages can have scoliosis, but this publication focuses on children and adolescents. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis of unknown cause) is the most common type and typically occurs after the age of 10. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. Because scoliosis can run in families, a child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked regularly for scoliosis by the family doctor....Read more about Scoliosis NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Scoliosis surgery for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Scoliosis, curvature of the spine, is common in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is usually progressive and surgery is often performed aiming to halt its progression, improve cosmetic appearance, facilitate care, preserve upper limb and respiratory function, and hopefully increase life expectancy. However, there were no randomized controlled clinical trials available to evaluate the effectiveness of scoliosis surgery. Randomized controlled clinical trials are needed in this group of patients to evaluate the benefits and risks of different surgical treatments. This is an updated review and an updated search was undertaken in which no new studies were found.

Antifibrinolytic agents to reduce blood loss in the surgical correction of scoliosis (abnormal curvatures of the spine) in children

Correction of scoliosis is a surgical procedure in which substantial bleeding occurs, which may lead to serious complications. There are many methods for decreasing and controlling blood loss including the use of drugs that modify the coagulation cascade, such as antifibrinolytic drugs. Antifibrinolytic drugs can reduce the bleeding by preventing the breakdown of a blood clot. The antifibrinolytic drugs evaluated in this systematic review were aprotinin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid. The total number of participants in the included studies was 254, of whom 127 received placebo and 127 received antifibrinolytic drugs. Antifibrinolytic drugs decreased the amount of blood transfused by 327 ml and the amount of blood loss by 427 ml. However, the actual need of transfusion was not significantly decreased. Although no deaths or adverse events were noted with the use of these antifibrinolytic drugs, the number of children evaluated was too small and the duration of follow up too short to draw any conclusion on their safety.

Exercises for scoliosis in teens

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a rare (2% to 3% of the general population) spinal deformity affecting young people aged 10 through the end of the growth period. The deformity may continue into adulthood. AIS is characterised by one or more three‐dimensional spinal curves. Disability, cosmetic deformity, pain, activity limitation, quality of life issues, breathing problems and the possibility of the scoliosis remaining with the person into and throughout adulthood are commonly associated with this condition. The cause of AIS is unknown.

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Summaries for consumers

Scoliosis surgery for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Scoliosis, curvature of the spine, is common in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is usually progressive and surgery is often performed aiming to halt its progression, improve cosmetic appearance, facilitate care, preserve upper limb and respiratory function, and hopefully increase life expectancy. However, there were no randomized controlled clinical trials available to evaluate the effectiveness of scoliosis surgery. Randomized controlled clinical trials are needed in this group of patients to evaluate the benefits and risks of different surgical treatments. This is an updated review and an updated search was undertaken in which no new studies were found.

Antifibrinolytic agents to reduce blood loss in the surgical correction of scoliosis (abnormal curvatures of the spine) in children

Correction of scoliosis is a surgical procedure in which substantial bleeding occurs, which may lead to serious complications. There are many methods for decreasing and controlling blood loss including the use of drugs that modify the coagulation cascade, such as antifibrinolytic drugs. Antifibrinolytic drugs can reduce the bleeding by preventing the breakdown of a blood clot. The antifibrinolytic drugs evaluated in this systematic review were aprotinin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid. The total number of participants in the included studies was 254, of whom 127 received placebo and 127 received antifibrinolytic drugs. Antifibrinolytic drugs decreased the amount of blood transfused by 327 ml and the amount of blood loss by 427 ml. However, the actual need of transfusion was not significantly decreased. Although no deaths or adverse events were noted with the use of these antifibrinolytic drugs, the number of children evaluated was too small and the duration of follow up too short to draw any conclusion on their safety.

Exercises for scoliosis in teens

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a rare (2% to 3% of the general population) spinal deformity affecting young people aged 10 through the end of the growth period. The deformity may continue into adulthood. AIS is characterised by one or more three‐dimensional spinal curves. Disability, cosmetic deformity, pain, activity limitation, quality of life issues, breathing problems and the possibility of the scoliosis remaining with the person into and throughout adulthood are commonly associated with this condition. The cause of AIS is unknown.

See all (8)

More about Scoliosis

Photo of a young adult

Other terms to know:
Idiopathic, Spine

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