Pediatric Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis

Children diagnosed with scoliosis between the ages of 10 and 19, with no known cause, have idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.

What is Pediatric Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis?

Idiopathic adolescent scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis (when the spine is twisted or rotated to one side) and has no known cause. It is usually diagnosed during the rapid growth period associated with adolescence* (between the ages 10 and 19).

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis?

Most patients with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis do not have pain or other neurologic symptoms, such as weakness or breathing problems.

Some visible symptoms of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis may include:

  • Appearance of leaning to one side
  • One hip that appears to sit higher than the other
  • One shoulder that appears to sit higher than the other
  • Ribs appearing more prominent on one side (rib hump)
  • Low back pain (rarely)

*Age of adolescence as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)

What are the causes of Pediatric Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis?

Some researchers believe that hormone imbalance, muscle imbalance and asymmetrical (uneven) growth patterns may cause scoliosis. However, there is no definitive cause. In some cases, the progression of the curvature of the spine will slow as the child reaches full adult height. In general, a curve that is greater than 60 degrees will continue to progress during adulthood and can cause serious side effects.