Scoliosis is a very common spine condition that affects 2 to 3 percent of the population, or about 6 to 9 million people in the United States alone. Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that most commonly affects teenagers. It can develop in adults who have cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, although the origin of most childhood scoliosis is unknown.
While most cases of scoliosis are usually mild, it can worsen for some children as they grow older. When this happens, scoliosis can potentially become a debilitating condition. The amount of room in the chest can be reduced due to a particularly severe spinal curve, making it difficult for the lungs to function correctly.
Mild scoliosis patients must be regularly monitored by a reliable spine doctor. It is recommended to have regular X-ray exams to see if the curve is worsening. In many circumstances, there is no need for treatment. However, some patients need to wear a brace to keep the curve from getting worse. Furthermore, some cases could require surgery to correct extreme curvature.
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