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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.

Medical Conditions

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

Age

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.

Sex

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

Genetic Factors

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.

References:

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.

Last reviewed September 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.