The Most Common Types of Scoliosis

There are three types of scoliosis: idiopathic, congenital, and neuromuscular. Learn about each type here!

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves abnormally. It affects both boys and girls, and usually starts between ages 10 and 14. The most common form is idiopathic (meaning “of unknown cause”), which occurs when the spine develops unevenly during growth. Congenital scoliosis is present at birth, while neuromuscular scoliosis results from damage to muscles that support the spine.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis. This type of scoliosis has no known cause. It typically begins with an asymmetry in the size of the vertebrae in one side of the spine. As the curve progresses, the spine becomes more curved until it forms a full S shape.

Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis occurs when there is a problem during fetal development. In some cases, the spinal cord does not develop properly and the baby will have a curvature of the spine. Other times, the bones do not fuse together correctly.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Neuromusculoskeletal scoliosis (NMS) is caused by muscle imbalances and weakness. It affects people who have had polio or cerebral palsy as children. NMS scoliosis usually starts between ages 5 and 15 years old.

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