Scoliosis causes explained

Scoliosis causes are largely unknown, with the majority of cases being considered idiopathic — or a condition with a spontaneous or unknown cause. Most patients with scoliosis developed the condition during their adolescence and did not require treatment because the spinal curvature was mild. Many others who underwent treatments like bracing or surgery after being diagnosed were able to stabilize the condition.

Unfortunately, some who successfully managed their scoliosis in childhood may see the condition progress or become more severe in adulthood. In these cases, an updated diagnosis and treatment may be necessary. Adults who underwent scoliosis surgery as adolescents may also develop some additional neck or back problems later in life. Adult-onset scoliosis, also called degenerative scoliosis, may also occur.

Scoliosis causes, risk factors and types

Some individuals may be at a higher risk of developing scoliosis than others. Adolescents between the ages of 8 and 12, before the onset of puberty, are most likely to develop the condition. Genetics can also be a component — those with a family history of scoliosis are more likely to develop it themselves.

Scoliosis is a general term referring to excessive side-to-side curving of the spine, but there are actually different types of scoliosis, each with its own causes:

  • Idiopathic scoliosis — this is the scoliosis that develops in adolescence due to largely unknown causes, suspected to be related to the rapid growth that comes at this age
  • Congenital scoliosis — abnormal development of the spine in the womb due to improper growth or fusion of vertebrae
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis — spinal curvature due to a neuromuscular disease, such as cerebral palsy, polio or muscular dystrophy
  • Degenerative scoliosis — spinal curvature that develops due to spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease or other forms of spine degeneration related to age or repetitive stress

Treatment options for your condition

If you are an adult dealing with scoliosis and have been unable to find relief with physician-prescribed conservative treatments, Laser Spine Institute may be able to help. We can perform minimally invasive decompression surgery aimed at relieving the nerve compression that scoliosis causes. In certain cases, our minimally invasive stabilization procedures can slow the progression of spinal curvature.

Our minimally invasive techniques have helped more than 75,000 patients get their lives back while avoiding the long and difficult recovery^ associated with traditional open back procedures. We have outpatient surgery centers across the United States and a culture of patient-centered care that puts you first. To learn if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review.*