What causes scoliosis in adults?


Quick Answer

Scoliosis in adults may be caused by trauma, may have been present since birth, or may be considered idiopathic scoliosis, which has no identifiable cause, explains WebMD. Though there are theories as to why people develop idiopathic scoliosis, none have been proven conclusively.

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What causes scoliosis in adults?
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Full Answer

From 2 to 3 percent of Americans have scoliosis at the age of 16, and less than 0.1 percent have a spinal curve that needs surgical intervention, according to WebMD. Females are more at risk than males of developing scoliosis, and the condition generally develops between the ages of 10 to 16 years old. Idiopathic scoliosis may progress during a teen's growth spurt but usually does not progress during adulthood.

Most of the people who have scoliosis are diagnosed as children or teenagers, claims WebMD. Some of the signs that a child may have scoliosis include prominent shoulder blades, uneven shoulders or an uneven waist. A doctor may order a bone exam or X-ray to evaluate the severity of scoliosis.

Treatment for scoliosis includes braces and surgery, states WebMD. Doctors usually use braces to treat those who have a curve of the spine between 25 and 40 degrees. This is especially the case if the person has more than two years of growth left. Doctors recommend surgery for those with more than a 50 percent curve, but this does not typically straighten the spine. Instead, it helps to keep the scoliosis from worsening.

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