Will my, or my child's scoliosis get worse?

Risk of Progression in Children and Adolescents

Scoliosis can be a serious condition in children because the curve can progress rapidly as the child grows.

To determine if a particular case of scoliosis has a high risk of progression, an accurate assessment of x-rays must be done. “Cobb angle”, posture, age, and condition of your spine are all factors that will determine whether the scoliosis has a chance of getting worse over time.

A study was carried out to predict curve progression in untreated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis cases. It showed that in growing children, there is a high risk of scoliosis progression. The earlier appropriate treatment is given, the better the chance of a successful outcome.

Risk of Progression in Adults

In adults the combination of gravity and degenerative changes in the spine can lead to a worsening of the scoliosis; sometimes with a subsequent increase in the associated pain. However, in some cases the scoliosis is stable and may not progress over time at all. The best way to determine risk of progression of a scoliosis in an adult is to assess full spine x-rays.