At St. Joseph’s Hospital, we offer a range of treatments for every type of scoliosis, from minor to severe. Our spine surgery experts perform complex spinal reconstruction surgery to treat advanced cases of scoliosis.
Learn more about our pediatric Scoliosis Center.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves abnormally to the side to form a ‘C’ or ‘S’ shape. Minor curving may correct itself over time. But severe cases can grow worse as a child develops, affecting their chest and their ability to breath easily.
What Causes Scoliosis?
For most cases of adolescent scoliosis, the cause is unknown. Other, less common cases have known causes:
- Congenital scoliosis: Present at birth and occurs when baby’s ribs or spine bones do not form properly
- Neuromuscular scoliosis: Caused by an existing neuromuscular disorder, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or spina bifida
Symptoms of Scoliosis
There are usually no symptoms associated with scoliosis, except for a visible signs in more advanced cases. People with scoliosis may have:
- Uneven shoulders or wait
- One hip higher than the other
In more severe cases, someone with scoliosis may report a backache after long periods of standing or sitting.
How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?
The most basic test for scoliosis is a physical exam. The curve – as well as other changes, like uneven hips – are often visible.
Other tests may include:
- X-ray: Imaging test that takes pictures of your bones
- CT: Imaging test that takes X-rays from multiple angles around your body to create a more detailed picture.
- MRI: Imaging test that takes highly detailed pictures of your spinal disks and nerves
Treatments for Scoliosis
In many cases, treatment is not necessary, but your doctor will recommend frequent checkups to monitor your spine.
In adolescent patients who are still growing, the first-line treatment is often a brace, which helps stabilize the spine and prevent further curving.
Adults with severe deformities may require surgery. Treatment options include:
- Complex spinal reconstruction: Corrects spine curvatures by stabilizing the spine with rods and ins
- Spinal fusion: Fuses together vertebrae to correct minor deformities
For more information or for a physician referral, please call (813) 644-4322.