Scoliosis and Age in Edina, MN

The Prevalence of Scoliosis Increases with Age

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There is a common misconception that once a person’s skeleton is mature there is very little likelihood that their scoliosis will worsen.  Recent studies show that, contrary to this idea, the prevalence of scoliosis increases with age.

A 2010 article published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British volume, and also published in the journal Spine, 2011, clearly concludes that, contrary to popular belief, scoliosis is a progressive disease. As further illustration and proof of this point, a study published in The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2017, concluded that the average rate of progression (worsening) in adults with scoliosis was approximately 1.28° per year. The significance of that conclusion is that in adults with scoliosis from all causes, curves will progress between 0.5° to 2° per year.

The article published in Spine clearly shows how the incidence of scoliosis in the population increases with age as follows:

  • 0.3% to 0.5% in children.
  • 2% to 4% above the age of 18 years.
  • 9% in those over 40 years of age.
  • 30% in those over 60 years of age.
  • 50% in those over 90 years of age.

Just as it is true that children and adolescents with scoliosis should be watched closely, it is also true that we must be vigilant in our care for adults with scoliosis.  Every adult that ScoliTech cares for is carefully assessed and closely monitored as they age.

Correct the Curve

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