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.