Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

What causes adolescent idiopathic scoliosis?

The term "idiopathic" means that the cause of this condition is unknown. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis probably results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies suggest that the abnormal spinal curvature may be related to hormonal problems, abnormal bone or muscle growth, nervous system abnormalities, or other factors that have not yet been identified.

Researchers suspect that many genes are involved in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Some of these genes likely contribute to causing the disorder, while others play a role in determining the severity of spinal curvature and whether the curve is stable or progressive. Although many genes have been studied, few clear and consistent genetic associations with this condition have been identified.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis inherited?

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis can be sporadic, which means it occurs in people without a family history of the condition, or it can cluster in families. The inheritance pattern of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is unclear because many genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved. We do know, however, that having a close relative (such as a parent or sibling) with the condition increases a child's risk of developing it.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis a rare disease?

An orphan or rare disease is generally considered to have a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 affected individuals in the United States (U.S.). Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common spinal abnormality in children. It affects an estimated 2 to 3 percent of children in the United States. It is not a rare disease.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might adolescent idiopathic scoliosis be treated?

Treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may involve observation, bracing and/or surgery. Treatment recommendations are generally dependent upon the risk of curve progression. Curves progress most during the rapid growth period of the patient (adolescent or pre-adolescent growth spurt). The potential for growth is evaluated by taking into consideration the patient's age, the status of whether females have had their first menstrual period, and radiographic parameters (x-ray studies).

Detailed information about these treatment options can be accessed through the Scoliosis Research Society.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Scoliosis Research Society 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100
Milwaukee, WI, 53202-3823 , United States
Phone: 414-289-9107 Fax : 414-276-3349 Email: Url:
Name: National Scoliosis Foundation 5 Cabot Place
Stoughton, MA, 02072,
Toll Free: 1-800-NSF-MYBACK (800-673-6922) Fax : 781-341-8333 Email: Url:
Name: Curvy Girls: International Scoliosis Peer Support Url:

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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