Scoliosis is a common disorder affecting the spine. Scoliosis is characterized by a sideways curvature in the spine. The curvature is usually in a C or S shape. Scoliosis can vary in its severity. For people with a milder curvature to their spine, serious treatment may not be necessary, but it is recommended that they see a professional regularly to check on the spine from time to time. While scoliosis can occur in patients of all ages, it tends to develop most frequently in children around the ages ten to twelve or early in their teenaged years. The reason it tends to occur so often at this age is because it is when children are growing at their fastest rates. Scoliosis tends to run in families, so children with family members who have had scoliosis should make regular doctor visits and have their spine examined thoroughly.
In order to check for the development of scoliosis, the doctor will evaluate the patient’s family history, their medical history, listen to any symptoms the patient might be experiencing, and perform a physical exam. In some cases, x-rays are needed to confirm a diagnosis of scoliosis. X-rays allow the doctor to make a more exact measurement of the curvature in the spine. After a diagnosis has been confirmed, specific treatments will be recommended, which usually includes close monitoring for a selected period of time, and in some cases the use of a brace or surgery is needed to correct the curvature.