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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

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.

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

Scoliosis is a curving of the spine beyond that which is normal. Surgery may be needed to correct scoliosis and is often carried out when the child is young. Substantial bleeding may occur during surgery and can lead to serious complications, such as multiple organ failure. Many methods are used to reduce blood loss, including drugs that modify clotting pathways in the body. Medications known as antifibrinolytic drugs can reduce bleeding by preventing the breakdown of a blood clot. This review is an update of a review published in 2008, which looked at how well these drugs work, and how safe they are.

Braces for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of bracing on pulmonary disorders (lung diseases), disability, back pain, quality of life, and psychological and cosmetic issues in adolescent with idiopathic scoliosis. We found seven studies. We looked at randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective controlled cohort studies (CCTs).

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Summaries for consumers

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.

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

Scoliosis is a curving of the spine beyond that which is normal. Surgery may be needed to correct scoliosis and is often carried out when the child is young. Substantial bleeding may occur during surgery and can lead to serious complications, such as multiple organ failure. Many methods are used to reduce blood loss, including drugs that modify clotting pathways in the body. Medications known as antifibrinolytic drugs can reduce bleeding by preventing the breakdown of a blood clot. This review is an update of a review published in 2008, which looked at how well these drugs work, and how safe they are.

Braces for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of bracing on pulmonary disorders (lung diseases), disability, back pain, quality of life, and psychological and cosmetic issues in adolescent with idiopathic scoliosis. We found seven studies. We looked at randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective controlled cohort studies (CCTs).

See all (8)

More about Scoliosis

Photo of a young adult

Other terms to know:
Idiopathic, Spine

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