At what age does scoliosis develop?

The vast majority of children with scoliosis fall into the adolescent age group, defined as greater than 10 years of age. Probably 90 to 95 percent of scoliosis cases fall into the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis category. Generally, for girls these curves show up between 10 and 13 years of age. For boys, it's a bit older, typically more like 12 to 14 because boys hit their growth spurt later.

School screening programs designed to identify children who have adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may screen in the 5th and 8th grades or 6th and 9th grade to try to catch the two respective growth spurts for boys and girls and identify curves that might benefit from treatment.

Scoliosis can develop at any age, even in infants. However, severe scoliosis is not usually detected until after age 10, when the child has gone through several growth spurts. This is why it is important for your child to have routine well-child checkups by a doctor.

Continue Learning about Scoliosis

Can I develop scoliosis as an adult?
Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical CenterPresbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center
It is possible to develop scoliosis as an adult because of wear and tear on the spine.
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How often does my child need to wear a brace for scoliosis?
Medical City Children’s HospitalMedical City Children’s Hospital
Your child needs to wear a brace for scoliosis full-time. Studies have shown that brace compliance i...
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What is the goal of surgery for scoliosis?
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SLRocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL
The biggest goal in surgery for scoliosis is to stop the curve of the spine from getting worse.
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Is structural scoliosis serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Most cases of structural scoliosis, especially the mild ones, are not serious. However, severe cases...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.