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JRPMS Vol 3, No 2, June 2019, p.78-82

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-03-078


Review Article

Etiopathogenesis of idiopathic scoliosis

Apostolos M. Papadoudis1,2, Kleopatra L. Skourti3

  1. Department of Orthopaedics, Athens Naval Hospital, Athens, Greece
  2. Postgraduate Program “Metabolic Bone Diseases”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Greece
  3. Department of Pediatrics, 401 Military Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Idiopathic, Scoliosis, Pathophysiology, Etiology, Pathogenesis


Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine. The key radiographical tool for diagnosis is the Cobb angle and the most common form is a right thoracic convexity with a compensatory left lumbar convexity. Scoliosis is divided, in terms of etiology, into idiopathic, congenital, and secondary. Research into the etiology of idiopathic scoliosis has focused on multiple areas and a great number of suggestions has been made during the last decades concerning hormones, genetic, metabolic and biomechanical factors. Although a lot of theories have been proposed, none is capable to fully describe the pathophysiology of the disease, underlying the complexity and the multifactorial etiology of the condition. The purpose of this review is to summarize the main concepts of etiology and highlight the pathogenetic theories under research in order to reveal possible “targets” for our efforts to understand, diagnose and treat idiopathic scoliosis.