Scoliosis refers to an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine that occurs during the growing process in children and adolescents. In most cases, the deformity of the spine and its symptoms are fairly mild, but in some circumstances, surgical correction is needed. While the specific cause of this disorder isn’t known, heredity seems to be one component. In limited cases, scoliosis may occur due to a spine infection or a neuromuscular disorder such as cerebral palsy. Nonsurgical treatment options are first exhausted prior to considering surgery. Such treatments include physical therapy and specialized exercises. When surgical correction is necessary, instrumentation (or “hardware”) such as plates and screws can be used along with bone grafts to straighten, fuse and stabilize the spine.