Congenital Spine Anomalies

Also known as: congenital spine abnormalities; deformities; anomalies and/or malformations of the spine

What are congenital spine anomalies?

Congenital deformities of the spine are usually identified at birth. Many are minor bony abnormalities that cause no problem and are only found during X-rays done for other reasons. Rarely, congenital spinal abnormalities may be progressive resulting in significant spinal deformity. These include scoliosis, kyphosis, torticollis, lordosis and other vertebral defects.


What causes congenital spine anomalies? 

The exact cause of congenital spine anomalies isn’t clear. It may involve some combination of environmental factors and genetics. Congenital spine anomalies can result as a complication of other diseases, including Down syndrome. Exposure to cigarette smoke, pesticides and other toxins can also play a role.


What are the signs and symptoms of congenital spine anomalies? 

Severe congenital spine anomalies are often visible in the form of a curved or deformed spine. These problems can also lead to problems with mobility, as well as pain and other complications.


What are congenital spine anomaly care options?

Less severe anomalies may be able to be treated and corrected with exercise, physical therapy, stretching or bracing. Depending on the type and severity of the spinal abnormality, a variety of surgeries may be needed.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 2/23/2017 11:25:40 AM

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