Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature in the spine, often in the shape of a "C" or "S."

More to Know

Signs of scoliosis usually appear between the ages of 10 and 14, just before the onset of puberty.

Someone with too much spinal curvature will usually have uneven hips or shoulders (one side is higher than the other) or one shoulder blade that sticks out farther than the other.


Usually, the cause of scoliosis is unknown and occurs in otherwise healthy kids and adolescents. But it also can affect those with conditions such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. Scoliosis tends to run in families, and girls are much more likely to develop severe cases.

Most of the time, scoliosis is mild enough that it doesn't interfere with everyday life and can be left untreated. In some cases, doctors will have someone with scoliosis wear a back brace.

If the curve gets severe, it can be visible and cause discomfort. It can also lead to other health problems, possibly affecting the lungs, heart, and joints. In these instances, surgery can correct the problem.

Keep in Mind

Most cases of scoliosis don't require treatment, but even when they do, kids and teens usually can resume an active life after treatment.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.