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What is scoliosis of the spine?

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Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine, WebMD explains. Types of scoliosis include congenital, neuromuscular, degenerative and idiopathic. Scoliosis is more likely to affect girls than boys.

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Spinal curves of more than 40 degrees often require surgery, according to WebMD. The condition is often diagnosed through school screening exams or an annual physical. Indications of possible scoliosis include uneven shoulders, a protruding shoulder blade or an uneven waist. If scoliosis is suspected, X-rays can confirm the magnitude of the problem.

Braces are the preferred treatment for adolescents with curvature between 25 and 40 degrees, WebMD notes. This treatment is particularly appropriate for those expected to grow for at least another two years.

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