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How life-threatening is scoliosis?

Luke Macyszyn, MD
Neurosurgery
Scoliosis is not life threatening. However, it may lead to lung function compromise in children (if severe enough) and may reduce the exercise capability in adults.

Most cases of scoliosis, especially mild ones, are not life-threatening. However, severe cases of scoliosis can cause the spine to curve so much that the chest cavity is constricted. When this happens, the rib cage can come into contact with the lungs or the heart, causing difficulty breathing or damage to the heart and lungs. Because the scoliosis can be treated to avoid these complications, it's important to see a doctor about symptoms.

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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.