DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scoliosis. Back view of a 35 year-old woman patient with scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine). Curvature of the spine towards the left can be seen just above the level of the waist. Scoliosis usually starts in childhood or adoles- cence, becoming progressively worse until growth stops. Usually, another part of the spine bends in an opposite direction to compensate, resulting in an S-shape. The cause of scoliosis is often unknown. If the curvature is slight the spine may be left untreated. Severe or progressive scoliosis may be treated by immobilisation of the spine followed by surgery to fuse affected bones into a straight line.
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