Images of Scoliosis Curves

What Does Your Curve Look Like?

Types of Scoliosis

Although there are many types and causes of scoliosis (when your spine develops abnormal curves), about 80% are idiopathic. Idiopathic means the cause of scoliosis is not known. It is thought to be genetic or inherited in most cases.  You've probably heard of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the type of scoliosis often associated with teenage girls.

Other common causes of scoliosis include:

  • Congenital:  This means that you're born with scoliosis.  It can be caused by a hemivertebrae in which one side of a vertebral body fails to fully form creating a wedge-shaped body)\.
  • Neuromuscular:  This is associated with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, polio, etc.
  • Degenerative:  Degenerative scoliosis can develop in adults.  It's caused by "wear and tear" on the spine, causing it to develop curves.

Curve Classification: Images of Different Types of Scoliosis Curves

There are several types of scoliosis curves, and the doctor may say something like, "You have a double S curve."

You can probably imagine what that looks like, but seeing it in the images below may also help.

idiopathic scoliosis, double
congenital scoliosis, hemivertebrae
Idiopathic Scoliosis:  Double "S" curve
Congenital Scoliosis:  Arrow points to the hemivertebrae


neuromuscular scoliosis,
neuromuscular scoliosis
Neuromuscular Scoliosis: "C" Curve
Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Spina Bifida (below): Note the severe scoliosis and kyphosis associated with this congenital abnormality.

spina bifida
spina bifida

This is just a sampling of images of scoliotic curves.  As your doctor addresses your scoliosis, he or she will take x-rays of your spine.  When you're looking at them with the doctor, be sure to ask any questions you have about the curve types, treatments, and prognosis.

Updated on: 02/23/17
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Causes of Scoliosis
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Causes of Scoliosis

There are many types of scoliosis such as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and adult degenerative scoliosis. Causes of scoliosis can be congenital, syndromic, neurological, muscular and sometimes not known, which is called idiopathic.
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