Did you know there are four different categories that scoliosis can fall under? Each type is determined by how old the patient is when the curvature develops and what the causing factors for development are.
People with congenital scoliosis suffer from a bone malformation in the womb, causing them to develop vertebrae that do not stack properly. The condition occurs when underdeveloped vertebrae take the shape of triangles or when certain vertebrae fuse together to form a larger misshaped bone.
What Causes the Curve of Congenital Scoliosis?
As the spine tries to line up normal square-shaped vertebrae with irregularly shaped vertebrae, a curve naturally develops either in the shape of an S or a C. Not much is known about why certain vertebrae develop improperly. Some experts suggest it runs in families, but direct evidence does not point to the passing of a “scoliosis gene.”
Neuromuscular scoliosis is a side effect of sorts for children who suffer from other health issues that interfere with their spine-supporting muscles. Patients with Marfan syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and other muscle-related disorders tend to develop neuromuscular scoliosis.
What Causes the Curve of Neuromuscular Scoliosis?
As your body grows and develops, you depend on your back muscles to stay strong and protect the integrity of your spine. However, if there are issues preventing your muscles from forming or functioning correctly, your spine is at a high risk of losing its shape and becoming misaligned. Neuromuscular scoliosis is not a primary issue, it’s the result of more serious conditions with the body.
Adult De Novo Scoliosis
Unlike congenital and neuromuscular scoliosis which both form early on in a child’s life, adult de novo scoliosis comes about during the aging process. Patients who develop disc degeneration, experience a trauma to the back, or form tumors on their spine in adulthood are prone to developing adult de novo scoliosis. All these circumstances can potentially lead to spinal misalignment.
An idiopathic diagnosis for scoliosis comes when there are no indicators for why a patient has developed a spinal curvature. The misalignment appears after childhood, and it can be deemed adolescent or adult idiopathic scoliosis.
What Causes Idiopathic Scoliosis?
Some patients form a spinal curvature in their teen years, and although there’s no clear understanding as to why, many experts point to the many growth spurts teens experience during this time. Teen girls in particular are more likely to develop adolescent idiopathic scoliosis as they undergo larger growth spurts in shorter amounts of time than their male counterparts.
In even rarer cases, adults can receive a diagnosis of adult idiopathic scoliosis. This happens when an adult patient develops a curved spine with no clear explanations for why the curvature developed.