Scoliosis is a condition that affects approximately 5 million people in the United States alone, and many millions more worldwide. Scoliosis remains largely an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no clear origin or cause in roughly two thirds of all cases. The remaining third is often congenital or related to muscular deficiencies. Modern treatments mean that most diagnosed with scoliosis can live long and productive lives. The word scoliosis came to English in 1706 first as Modern (medical) Latin from the Ancient Greek word σκολίωσις meaning crooked or bent, from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)qel- meaning crooked, curved or bent.
X-ray image of a spine with scoliosis courtesy kfergos, used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.