Scoliosis

By Jared Fortier

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition that effects the skeletal system in the body and manipulates the curvature of the spine to severe degrees. Scoliosis can cause major abnormalities to the spinal cord, which in some cases, can dramatically alter your life.

How does Scoliosis effect the body?

Scoliosis effects the spinal cord, causing it to have a curve that can be in the shape of a S or C, rather than the normal straitness. When the spine curves majorly, it can also move the rib cage, the shoulder blades and the entire skeleton. The spine is the supporting structure of the body, if the spine becomes out of line then the whole body can become misshapen.


The spinal cord is the primary receiver of the effects from this condition. The spine, or backbone, is made up of 24 vertebrae that protect and support the spine. Scoliosis can damage these vertebrae, making the spine weak.

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How does Scoliosis arise?

The most common form of Scoliosis is AIS, or Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. This means that the cause is unknown and it arises randomly. Some other causes found are abnormal bone structure at birth, and genetics. Some scientists believe and are starting to research the possibility of some genes being connected to scoliosis. This might true considering there are many cases of multiple members of the same family with this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis

There are not many signs of scoliosis because it is a idiopathic condition.

  • Uneven Muscular Structure
  • Shoulder Blade or Rib Cage Abnormalities
  • Uneven hip and arm length
  • No Physical actives are known to cause symptoms

Statistics on Scoliosis

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How is this Scoliosis diagnosed?

A doctor can determine if a person has this condition by checking the spine in a normal check up. When they feel the spine they can tell if it feels odd, then if they think it is serious they might send them to have x-rays. A doctor can then farther evaluate by measuring the cobb angle of the spine. The cobb angle is the measurement of the curvature of the spine. It is measured in degrees, and the larger it is the more severe the curve is. The doctor then may decide treatment is needed, rather by a back brace or surgery.
How To Treat Scoliosis

How can Scoliosis be treated?

The type of treatment that can be given can be rather wearing a back brace, needing surgery or just none at all. Doctors decide what is needed by measuring the Cobb angle of the spine. If the angle is between 10 to 15 degrees than nothing needs to be done. If the curve is between 20 and 40, than a back brace will usually be suggested to stop the curving. If the curve is 40 to 50 degrees than surgery is recommended. The surgery is called Spinal Fusion. The surgery causes some of the bones inside the spine to become one to make the spine no longer curve.

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Prognosis of Scoliosis

The prognosis it that people with scoliosis can live perfectly normal lives without any complications. If the condition is severe and not treated though, it could lead to the inability to move freely and possibly great amounts of pain. In most cases it is no problem and isn't harmful. Some can even have scoliosis throughout most of their lives without even knowing they have it. Overall this condition is not majorly life threatening.

Works Cited

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"Scoliosis." KidsHealth. Ed. Suken A. Shah. The Nemours Foundation, 01 Jan. 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/bones/scoliosis.html

Staples Straighten Curved Backs. Current Health 1 [serial online]. December 2004;28(4):5. Available from: Middle Search Plus, Ipswich, MA. Accessed January 12, 2015.


Clermont R. Is Your Spine In Line?. Dance Spirit [serial online]. October 2002;6(8):26. Available from: Middle Search Plus, Ipswich, MA. Accessed January 12, 2015.


"Scoliosis of the Spine: Image, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-scoliosis>.


”Scoliosis” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. Q1 2014, p1-1. 1p.


"Scoliosis." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliosis>.


"Scoliosis: Frequently Asked Questions-OrthoInfo - AAOS." Scoliosis: Frequently Asked Questions-OrthoInfo - AAOS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00626>.