Scoliosis can be described as a disorder which causes an abnormal lateral curve of the spine or backbone. It means that the spine curves sideways abnormally, commonly showing as “C” or “S” shape, or even more than 2 curves.

The cause of most scoliosis is still unknown, and it usually occurs during adolescence. It is common in children around 8-16 years of age. We call it “Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)”. Girls have a higher chance of suffering from scoliosis, about three to four times higher than boys.

Patients with scoliosis are easy to be distinguished by their appearance. However, due to obstructive appearance, it may affect the self-confidence, social interaction, psychological growth and development of adolescents. If the condition is severe, it may cause breathing difficulties and hinder pregnancy in the future.

The severity of scoliosis is defined by Cobb angle from X-ray image. It can be divided into three levels:

Mild level: The Cobb angle is within the range of 10-20 degrees, requires exercise or physical therapy, and regular monitoring, usually per half-year.

Moderate level: The Cobb angle is from 20 to 40 degrees, and it is necessary to wear a spinal orthosis, also called brace, and undergo sports or physical therapy.

Severe level: The side bend angle exceeds 40 degrees, and doctors will judge whether a surgery is needed in preventing deterioration, considering patient’s age, bone maturity, etc.

Mild scoliosis (The mild level) usually requires no treatment. Regular observation and follow-up consultation is required until the bones mature completely. For those who suffer from severe scoliosis (the moderate level or above), orthopedic specialist referral and follow up is needed.