Scoliosis | Overview


What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine (backbone). Normally, the spine is straight. With scoliosis, the spine is crooked and curves to the side. If the spine is very crooked, the ribs or hips may stick out more on one side than the other side. Also, one shoulder may be lower than the other. Scoliosis may begin in childhood but often is not noticed until the teenage years. In most cases, the exact cause of scoliosis isn't known. It seems to run in some families. Scoliosis is more common in girls than in boys.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 05/96