Scoliosis is abnormal curvature of the spine. It most often develops in early childhood, just before a child reaches puberty. In most cases, the direct cause of scoliosis is not understood. Genetics may play a role. It can run in families. It can also result from neuromuscular conditions, birth defects and injuries of the spine. Most people who have scoliosis do not need treatment. When it is detected, it can be monitored closely to make sure it isn’t getting worse. In some cases, spinal fusion surgery may be needed to straighten and stabilize the spine.