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Risk Factors for Scoliosis

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A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop scoliosis with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing scoliosis. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

A number of medical conditions predispose children to scoliosis, including:

The adolescent form of scoliosis is by far the most common form. This form begins in children over the age of 10, and usually progresses until growth stops in adolescence.

Mild curves affect boys and girls equally, but girls are 10 times more likely to have curves that progress enough to require treatment.

You are more likely to have scoliosis if other members of your family do. However, while you cannot predict how severe your scoliosis will be based on the severity of scoliosis in other family members, some evidence suggests that genetic testing might be useful in predicting the future severity of scoliosis.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2012 -
  • Update Date: 09/28/2012 -
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org .

  • Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics . 9th edition. Mosby; 1999.

  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov .

  • Ogilvie JW. Update on prognostic genetic testing in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). J Pediatr Orthop . 2011 Jan-Feb;31(1 Suppl):S46-48.

  • Scoliosis Research Society website. Available at: http://www.srs.org .