A scoliosis x-ray. Photograph: thefamilychiro.com.au
"Scoliosis" - A deformity in which the spine is bent to one side. The thoracic or lumbar regions are most commonly affected. Scoliosis usually starts in childhood or adolescence and becomes progressively more marked until growth stops. In many cases, another part of the spine curves to compensate, resulting in an S-shaped spine. The cause of juvenile scoliosis is unknown. Rarely, scoliosis is due to a congenital abnormality of the vertebrae.
In some cases, physiotherapy may be sufficient to control scoliosis. Progressive or severe scoliosis may require immobilisation of the spine in a brace, followed by surgery (spinal fusion) to straighten it.
"scoliosis". British Medical Association (2007). Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 2nd ed. London: Dorling Kindersley (DK). p500-501.