The spine is a curved structure. This helps with weight-bearing, balance and shock absorption. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional, abnormal curvature of the spine often affecting the thoracic and lumbar spinal regions. Scoliosis may be present during adolescence or as an adult. Adult scoliosis is most commonly due to degeneration of joints in the spine.
The cause of adolescent scoliosis is not completely known. Symptoms of scoliosis may include uneven shoulders and/or hip and a prominence of one shoulder blade over the other, and protruding ribs. Advanced scoliosis can cause back pain and difficulty breathing.