Spinal Deformity

Also known as: deformities of the spine, curvatures of the spine, scoliosis, kyphosis

What is spinal deformity?

Any condition related to the spine curved or curved too much or too litte may be classified as a spinal deformity. This may include scoliosis, kyphosis and other medical conditions.

What causes spinal deformity?

The cause of spinal deformity is often unknown. Doctors refer to such conditions as “idiopathic.” There are underlying genetic factors as yet not understood that relate to the muscles, ligaments or bones that put a patient at risk. Some spinal deformity occurs while a baby is developing in the womb and result in congenital deformities.

What are the symptoms of spinal deformity?

Spinal deformities are typically noticed by  un even shoulders or waistline, leaning slightly to one side, a hump on the back or the shoulder blade sticking out.  Deformities can be diagnosed accurately on an x-ray.

How can spinal deformity affect children?

Depending on its severity, a spinal deformity can have a significant impact on a child’s growth and development. While often painless they may have pain, mobility issues and miss developmental milestones as a result of the disorder.

What are spinal deformity treatments?

Some mild cases of spinal deformity require no treatment and only observation.  Others if significant may be treated with bracing.  Only curves resistant to treatment or severe upon presentation may require surgery for definitive corrective treatment.

Reviewed by: Thomas Errico, MD

This page was last updated on: November 22, 2019 02:08 PM

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