How common is scoliosis?

Luke Macyszyn, MD
Scoliosis is not a very common disorder. In general, curvatures over 10 degrees occur in only about 2 to 3 percent of the population. Scoliosis is much more common in girls than boys. Curves that are greater than 30 degrees are important to monitor and potentially treat with bracing. These larger curves occur with a prevalence of only about 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent of the population, with a significant female predilection compared to males at a ratio of approximately 10 to 1.

Two to four percent of children between the ages of 10 and 16 develop the most common type of scoliosis, which has no determinable cause. Girls tend to be more affected than boys. Scoliosis that is caused by birth defects or other muscular or skeletal conditions is far less common. Girls are also more likely to have their scoliosis become severe, requiring surgery or other treatment.

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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.