Can I develop scoliosis as an adult?
Luke Macyszyn, MD
Adults may also develop scoliosis, which is termed degenerative scoliosis. The reasons for the development of scoliosis in adults are different than in children and adolescents. Depending on the severity of the scoliosis, other medical conditions, and bone quality of the adult patient, surgery may be indicated.
It is possible to develop scoliosis as an adult because of wear and tear on the spine. In this video, spina; surgeon Woosik Chung, MD, of Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, explains how adult scoliosis develops.

In most cases where an adult is suffering from scoliosis, the condition was likely undiagnosed in the patient's adolescence. However, some adults with degenerative bone diseases may develop scoliosis as adults. Injury, tumors, and infections (such as tuberculosis of the spine) can possibly cause scoliosis in adults as well. Adults who suffer from osteoporosis and spinal arthritis should follow up any scoliosis symptoms with their doctors.

Continue Learning about Scoliosis



Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine -- a disorder that typically occurs just before puberty and is more common in girls. Schools and pediatricians screen for scoliosis; uneven shoulders or hips are often provide clues. If your c...

hild has a curvature, make sure you see your pediatrician regularly to monitor it. Scoliosis is sometimes temporary. Often, the curvature is mild enough that it doesn't require treatment. Doctors monitor scoliosis to determine if it's getting worse -- and for some this may mean wearing a brace or having surgery.

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.