What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine that often occurs during the growth months before puberty but can be present in adulthood. With this curvature, the spine is also twisted in a corkscrew fashion, causing a pull on the ribs forming a multi-dimensional curve. Scoliosis affects young females twice as much as it affects young males. In time, if not treated, scoliosis can worsen.

Scoliosis can be categorized into two groups: structural and nonstructural. Structural scoliosis is often caused by diseases, birth defects, injury, infection or abnormal growth. Nonstructural scoliosis occurs when there is a temporary change in the curve of the spine. This may be caused by several factors including:

  • Difference in leg length due to growth
  • Inflammatory conditions such as appendicitis
  • Muscle spasms

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Symptoms of scoliosis vary in each individual, ranging from a difference in shoulder, leg and back height to a difference in arm length or shoulder blade position. In some cases, scoliosis may also cause leg pain or changes in bowel or bladder function.  

Treatment for Scoliosis

To diagnose scoliosis, your health care provider will likely request an X-ray of the spine and perform a scoliosis evaluation. Several types of scoliosis treatments are available and your doctor will suggest the best treatment plan for your unique needs.

Treatments include:

  • Observation 
  • Bracing
  • Surgery
  • Staying active

Contact Us

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital specializes in the treatment of pediatric scoliosis at the Scoliosis Center in Tampa, Florida, and BayCare is proud to serve patients in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, New Port Richey, Plant City, Winter Haven, Lutz and the surrounding areas of Tampa Bay. 

To find a doctor or surgeon who specializes in pediatric or adult scoliosis, call (855) 314-8347.