Types of Scoliosis


There are several types of scoliosis. Each of them are named and defined according to the age, cause of scoliosis and spinal curvature. There are two basic types of scoliosis, structural and nonstructural. Structural scoliosis is caused by neuromuscular diseases, certain infections, birth defects, injury, connective tissue disorders, metabolic diseases, rheumatic diseases, tumors and other unknown factors. Nonstructural or functional scoliosis is reasoned by underlying conditions such as a difference in leg length, muscle spasms, or inflammatory conditions including appendicitis.

The most common type of scoliosis based on age is idiopathic scoliosis. As the word indicates, the cause is unknown. It affects about 4% of the population, commonly females. The reasons may include differences in leg length, hereditary conditions, injury, infections and tumors.

Idiopathic scoliosis is subdivided into three categories: infantile, juvenile and adolescent. Infantile scoliosis extends from birth to age three. Juvenile scoliosis is caused between the ages three and nine. As the child grows, there is a possibility to slow down the curve progression. Adolescent scoliosis extends from 10 to 18. It is the most common type of idiopathic scoliosis in the United States and can be discovered and treated in childhood or adolescence. It occurs in teenagers just at the growth spurt of puberty.

Other types of scoliosis are congenital, neuromuscular and degenerative. Congenital scoliosis is a rare type of scoliosis caused by an abnormally shaped bone that presents at birth. It occurs throughout the fetal development. Absence of vertebrae, partially formed vertebrae, failure of the vertebrae to form normally and the lack of separation of vertebrae are considered to be the reasons behind this condition. Neuromuscular scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine occurring due to muscular weakness or neuromuscular disease such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, paralytic conditions, spinal cord tumors, neurofibromatosis and muscular dystrophy. Degenerative scoliosis happens in adults due to weakening of the spine with aging.

Scoliosis is also categorized on the basis of the spinal curvature. Thus Thoracic curve scoliosis, Lumbar curve scoliosis and Thoracolumbar curve scoliosis are found.