Scoliosis & Kyphosis

An abnormal curvature of the spine

About Scoliosis

Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine, observable as a three dimensional deformity. Not only does scoliosis involve a side-to-side (lateral) curvature of the spine, but also a rotation of the spine. The curvature of the spine is the greatest of the apex of the side-to-side curves, and the rotation is what causes the rib humps and the hollow areas on the back and chest.

85% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Others are caused by underlying medical conditions. The intent of a brace, such as the Rigo Cheneau is to stop the progression of the spinal curve, or decrease it in some cases; thus, preventing surgery. A few curves will progress despite our best efforts—learn more

The graphic below represents monitoring guidelines for scoliosis.


In the adolescent and young adult, a normal spine, when viewed from behind, appears straight throughout its entire length; however, when one looks at the spine from the side, there are two visible curvatures. There is a gentle rounding of the upper back from the shoulders to the bottom of the rib-cage known as thoracic kyphosis and an opposite curve in the lower back known as lumbar lordosis. These two opposite curvatures of the spine are necessary in the normal spine to balance the trunk and head over the pelvis.

A normal thoracic spine extends from the 1st to the 12th vertebra and should have a slight kyphosis ranging from 20° to 45°. When the “roundness” of the upper spine increases past 45° it is called hyperkyphosis”. Scheuermann’s kyphosis is the most classic form of hyperkyphosis and is the result of wedged vertebrae that develop during adolescence. The cause is not currently known and the condition appears to be multi-factorial and is seen more frequently in males than females.