Classifications of Scoliosis

Screening for scoliosis
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The classification of scoliosis may help determine its medical management.

Congenital scoliosis develops during the first six weeks of uterine life and may be associated with cardiac and renal abnormalities. The anomalies of vertebrae may be malformation or partial fusion of the vertebral column. Congenital kyphosis may also develop.

Neuromuscular scoliosis is associated with primary disease processes such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.

Idiopathic scoliosis has no known cause and is divided into three age categories.

  • Infantile—Birth through age 3. This category accounts for 1 percent of cases and 60 percent of those cases are males.
  • Juvenile—Ages 4 through 10. This category accounts for 10 to 15 percent of cases and is more likely in older females.
  • Adolescent, or Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)—Ages 10 through 15. This category accounts for 85 percent of cases. The risk of progression in AIS can be determined and treatment modalities are available.

Mechanical issues can often be associated with a condition that may initially manifest as scoliosis. However, the underlying cause is often a different condition, like leg-length discrepancy.

Other conditions that can present as a curvature with pain include bone tumors or infections.

Systemic conditions associated with scoliosis are Marfan syndrome, Klippel-Feil syndrome, Down syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, neurofibromatosis and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.


    We're passionate about helping to educate healthcare providers on managing pediatric scoliosis patients. In addition to classifications of scoliosis, we find that providers are most interested in learning more about:

    Our registered nurse coordinator provides in-service presentations at physicians’ offices in metro Atlanta. Complete an in-service request form to schedule.



  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Wang, Weijun. “Different Curve Pattern and Other Radiographical Characteristics in Male and Female Patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis ,” SPINE 2012 Vol 37, No 18: pp 1586-1592.
  • Lonstein, J.E., Carlson, J.M. “The Prediction of Curve Progression in Untreated Idiopathic Scoliosis during Growth.” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Vol 66-A, No 7, 1984: pp 1061-1071.
  • Newton, Peter. Idiopathic Scoliosis: The Harms Study Group Treatment Guide. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2011.
  • Fisher, Martin. Textbook of Adolescent Health Care. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2011.
  • Legal Rules Promulgated From the Scoliosis Code 290-5-47, Georgia General Assembly Code 20-2-772.