Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 207–223

Imaging of painful scoliosis

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00256-008-0517-5

Cite this article as:
Davies, A. & Saifuddin, A. Skeletal Radiol (2009) 38: 207. doi:10.1007/s00256-008-0517-5


Scoliosis is defined as a lateral deviation of the spine from the normal plumb line. Commonly, there is a rotational component and deviation also in the sagittal plane (kyphosis or hyperlordosis). When scoliosis presents in adults, it is often painful. In contrast, back pain in a child is considered rare, and serious underlying pathology should be excluded, particularly since idiopathic scoliosis is typically painless. A painful scoliosis in a child or adolescent, especially if the patient has a left-sided curve, should be examined thoroughly. The aim of this review is to illustrate the causes of a painful scoliosis in children, adolescents and adults.


Painful scoliosisIdiopathic scoliosisVertebral tumoursAdult scoliosisOsteoid osteomaOsteoblastomaSpondylosisSpondylolisthesisIntra-spinal tumours

Copyright information

© ISS 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyRoyal National Orthopaedic Hospital TrustLondonUK