Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine that can occur at birth or later in life. Instead of a straight line, the spine will appear like an “S” or “C” and curve sideways. This condition is most common in children and adolescents but can also affect adults.
Most of the time, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Scoliosis can also be associated with congenital birth defects that cause a developing baby’s spine to not form properly.
Neuromuscular conditions are a third cause of scoliosis. These conditions include cerebral palsy, spinal bifida and muscular dystrophy.
Your health care provider will do a physical exam. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI or CT scans may be performed.
While scoliosis can be mild and resolve by itself, more severe cases that cause pain, breathing problems or interfere with daily activities will require intervention. Nonsurgical methods like a brace can be used to help straighten the back for spine curvature above 20 degrees, while surgery may be needed for curvature above 40 degrees.
Children and adolescents with scoliosis usually have surgery to correct spine curvature once their bones have stopped growing.
Leaders in Scoliosis Surgery
Wake Forest Baptist physicians have unique expertise to perform advanced reconstruction spine surgeries. We specialize in surgical treatment of the aging spine with deformity or scoliosis correction, using a technique with rods.