Scoliosis is a complicated, progressive spinal deformity
causing significant curves in the spine when viewed from the front or back. 80% is called “Idiopathic scoliosis”, meaning the cause of the scoliosis is unknown.
Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis can occur in children ages 3-10, and infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis in babies.
Adults who had scoliosis as a child risk a 1 to 3 degree curvature increase per year. Therefore, a curvature that may have been moderate as a child, can progress to a surgical need as an adult.
Other types of scoliosis that are not “idiopathic” exist, and may involve neurological or other processes. It is important to have a thorough evaluation to rule out these other causes.
The best time to diagnose and treat Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is as puberty begins. That is the time that the rapid growth phase of the spine occurs, and bracing takes advantage of the rapid growth to effect change in the vertebra so they grow more normal. This leads to decreased wedging and decreased rotation, improving the overall scoliosis. The rapid growth phase lasts approximately 1.5 to 2 years. After that, the growth slows but curvature improvement may still be possible during this period of time.
In addition to using scoliosis bracing, other procedures like scoliosis specific exercise and traction can be included to improve outcomes and stability. Each case is unique, and must be evaluated individually for best results.
Below are brief descriptions of the different types of scoliosis. Examination and x-ray evaluation by a qualified Scolibrace provider is the best way to determine the type of scoliosis you have, and how corrective bracing can help.