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Idiopathic Scoliosis

Frequently Asked Questions

Did my poor posture or heavy back-pack cause my scoliosis?
The cause of scoliosis is unknown, and poor posture and carrying heavy backpacks neither cause nor progress the development of the curve.

Is there a genetic test for scoliosis?
There is currently no genetic test that can reliably diagnose scoliosis. There is a genetic test called the Scoliscore which assesses the likelihood of progression of the curve in patients who have already been diagnosed with scoliosis.

Will my siblings get scoliosis?
Because scoliosis runs in families, there is a higher risk for siblings of patients with scoliosis to also be diagnosed with scoliosis. Younger siblings of patients should get examined and undergo observation during times of rapid growth.

Are there exercises I can do, or can a Chiropractor help fix the curve in my back?
There is no research that has proven that exercises or chiropractic medicine helps decrease the curve of scoliosis.

What activity restrictions are there for people with scoliosis?
There are no activity restrictions for people with untreated idiopathic scoliosis.

Am I going to need surgery? When would I need surgery?
The need for surgery is dependent on many factors, including the size of your curve, age, physiologic maturity, location, and progression of the curve. There is no set age that patients undergo surgery and the surgery is performed depending on the above factors. The best surgical prevention is routine observation and monitoring of the curve with your orthopaedic surgeon.

Will surgery make my back completely straight?
While there is a lot of correction in the straightness of the spine during surgery, the spine is never completely straightened and most likely there will be a small curve following surgery.

What are problems that can arise from scoliosis?
With scoliosis, patients can present with asymmetry in the back, in the shoulder height, hip prominence or height. While normally this causes only cosmetic issues, one problem that can arise from the asymmetry is back pain from unequal muscle development. Usually the back pain is severe the patient should be closely examined to look for other possible causes. In severe cases of scoliosis, lung function can be impaired as a result of stiffness and torsion in the ribs.

Will scoliosis affect my ability to have a child in the future?
Studies have shown that scoliosis will have no affect on pregnancy, and the patients will be able to live a normal life. Also, pregnancy hasn’t been shown to progress an untreated curve in skeletally mature adults.

Will scoliosis make me more prone to other bone conditions in the future, such as osteoporosis?
While there is some scientific debate about the relationship between scoliosis and osteoporosis, no scientific evidence has been shown to prove a correlation between the two conditions. The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to intake a lot of calcium, vitamin D, not smoke, and to do weight bearing exercises.