Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformity and has an insidious onset.
Idiopathic scoliosis is categorized based on the age of onset of the scoliosis. It can be put in the following categories;
• Early onset idiopathic scoliosis (Consists of infantile scoliosis age birth to 4 years and juvenile scoliosis age 4-9 years)
• Late onset idiopathic scoliosis (also known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis ages 10-18 years)
In children the periods of rapid growth are from birth to age 4 and then again from age 10-18 years. Scoliosis progression increases during these periods. Also the earlier the age at which scoliosis develops, the more disabling it can be.
Idiopathic scoliosis usually does not include pain. It is usually first detected by parents or by paediatricians who notice some asymmetry of the spine, with a prominence in the area of the curve. Scoliosis can also be genetic, so it important for parents with a history of scoliosis to have their children screened for scoliosis.
Treatment of scoliosis is based on the age of onset and the severity of the curve. Treatment will include scoliosis specific exercises, bracing and in severe cases surgery. Bracing is usually recommended for a curve between 25°-35°. Surgery may be recommended if the curve is 50° or above in a growing child.