Corporate Office- South Bend, IN

17187 State Road 23 South Bend, IN 46635 Phone: (574) 273-6000 Fax: (574) 247-8199 View Map & Get Directions

Elkhart, IN

1612 W. Lexington Ave. Elkhart, IN 46514 Phone: (574) 522-2273 Fax: (574) 522-4563 View Map & Get Directions

Plymouth, IN

1920 W. Lake Ave. Plymouth, IN 46563 Phone: (574) 941-4444 Fax: (574) 941-4440 View Map & Get Directions

Michigan City, IN

3219 South Franklin Street Michigan City, IN 46360 Phone: (219) 872-1000 Fax: (219) 879-1917 View Map & Get Directions

St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Medical Office Building

611 E. Douglas Road, Suite 124 Mishawaka, IN 46545 Phone: 574-247-8100 Fax: 574-855-2475 View Map & Get Directions

Health Issues

Scoliosis What causes Scoliosis?

Doctors define scoliosis in a particular person based on a number of factors related to the curve, including:

  • Shape. Aside from appearing like the letter C or S, a curve may occur in two or three dimensions. A nonstructural curve is a side-to-side curve. A structural curve involves twisting of the spine and occurs in three dimensions.
  • Location. The curve may occur in the upper back area (thoracic), the lower back area (lumbar) or in both areas (thoracolumbar).
  • Direction. The curve can bend to the left or to the right.
  • Angle. Doctors figure out the angle of the curve using the vertebra at the apex of the curve as the starting point.
  • Cause. About 80 percent of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown.

Many theories have been proposed regarding the causes of scoliosis. They include connective tissue disorders, hormonal imbalance and abnormality in the nervous system.

Scoliosis runs in families and may involve genetic (hereditary) factors. But researchers haven't identified the gene or genes that may cause scoliosis. Doctors also recognize that spinal cord and brainstem abnormalities play a role in some cases of scoliosis.