Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis

In many cases, idiopathic scoliosis develops gradually over time and is asymptomatic (i.e., does not cause symptoms). Most children who have the condition are diagnosed during a routine screening examination.

Scoliosis that involves more than a 30 degree curvature and scoliosis caused by an underlying condition (e.g., neuromuscular disease, infection, tumor) can result in pain and/or deformity, such as an uneven rib cage or waistline.

Severe scoliosis can cause damage to the spine and can impair lung function. Reduced lung function may lead to long-term breathing difficulties.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015