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Scoliosis sideways deformity of the spine, coloured X-ray. This is a front view of the chest of a woman, and normally the spine would run vertically down centre. Scoliosis may be caused by a congenital abnormality of the vertebrae (spinal bones), a spinal injury or a disease such as poliomyelitis. Sometimes the disease starts in childhood for no obvious cause, and progresses until growth stops, often causing severe deformity. If the underlying cause is known, treatment is aimed at curing that. Otherwise, a brace may be worn to immobilise the spine, or the vertebrae may be surgically fused together.
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