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What is idiopathic scoliosis

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What is idiopathic scoliosis and what is the relationship between idiopathic scoliosis to back pain?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that is usually accompanied by rotation. Idiopathic scoliosis does not have a clear causal agent --" Idiopathic" = "we don't know why you have it".

Labeling a condition idiopathic is a process of exclusion, ie excluding all of the known causes . Adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis ("adolescent type") may present in several ways. In some patients, scoliosis is incidentally found on physical examination. Others have complaints related to the deformity that is caused, such as asymmetry of the shoulders, flank creases, hips, scapulae, or breasts. Still others present because an abnormality was noted during a scoliosis screening at school. 

Most patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis have little, if any, functional limitation or pain. In practice, the presence of scoliosis not be consider an adequate explanation for acute or severe back pain---at least in the sense that if somebody presents with idiopathic scoliosis and pain, the clinician must not simply attribute the pain to the idiopathic scoliosis. 

one not that rare cause of pain that is worth knowing (at least that it exists) is Spondylolysis: a stress fracture in one of the pars in the vertebrae

 

Less common causes include tumor, infection, and in patients with sickle cell disease, sickle crisis.

 

 

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