CONGENITAL scoliosis occurs in two distinct types. In the first type the scoliosis is the result of muscular and ligamentous contractures and there is no early deformation of the axial skeleton.1 This type of scoliosis is thought to be the result of prolonged lateral bending of the fetal spine in utero. It is usually corrected without great difficulty by daily stretching and by the use of a corrective plaster shell in infancy.2 This is a rare type of congenital scoliosis. Only five patients with this type of congenital scoliosis were seen by us during the last 25 years. In each of these patients the scoliosis was corrected or greatly improved during the period of observation. None of these patients presented a serious therapeutic problem. The five cases are not included in the subsequent discussion.
In the second type of congenital scoliosis, the type commonly seen, the scoliosis is caused by congenital deformation of the spine and