Your situation is unique. This is our starting point.

Embarking upon a health procedure, whether simple or involved, can be an anxiety-producing experience for most patients. The critical thing to remember is that SPINE-PEDS ORTHO team of professionals will handle complicated spinal problems, possibly much like your own, on a frequent basis. And knowledge helps a great deal. Higher volume leads to better expertise and outcomes.

One step in allaying concern is to try and become more familiar with your condition and treatment options. Our team believes in educating our patients about their conditions. Your physician will determine the best treatment for your particular condition.


Like many aspects of growth in young children, healthy development of the spine can vary slightly from child to child with small curves constituting a normal part of spine anatomy. But if curves are observed by a parent, teacher or physician, evaluation for scoliosis is advisable.

Scoliosis is diagnosed as several types:

  • Idiopathic Scoliosis: of unknown origin
  • Congenital Scoliosis: present at birth, a congenital scoliosis curve is where bones are asymmetrical at birth and the vertebrae may be partially formed (hemivertebra) or wedge-shaped
  • Neuromuscular Scoliosis: is symptomatic of a systemic condition (syndromic scoliosis) such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord tumors, or paralysis
  • Syndromic Scoliosis: a unique group of spine conditions. Diseases such as Marfan’s Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, neurofibromatosis, Prader-Willi Syndrome, arthrogryposis, and Riley-Day Syndrome are some of the common syndromic causes of this condition.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a common musculoskeletal disorder. Although it is thought to be genetic, its true cause is unknown and thought to be a combination of many factors. It is characterized by a curvature of the spine measuring greater than 10°, and has no other symptoms or pain. At 25°, bracing is recommended in growing adolescents, and if the curve progresses to greater than 50°, becomes cosmetically unacceptable, or rapidly progresses, surgery may be recommended to correct the deformity and fuse the spine. Although 2% to 3% of the adolescent population is diagnosed with AIS, less than 10% of these patients require any surgical intervention.

Because AIS is a painless condition, affected adolescents frequently are athletic and participate in physical activities alongside their unaffected peers. In the event that surgery is required, one common concern is the ability to return to athletic activity postoperatively.


The origin of the Kyphosis can be idiopathic (of unknown origin), congenital (present at birth) or neuromuscular (related to the nerves and muscles). Abnormal development of the spinal column in the womb characterizes congenital kyphosis. The vertebrae may be formed abnormally or may be fused together. Surgical intervention is frequently required in order to prevent progressive deformity as well as to prevent injury to the spinal cord.

Kyphosis is diagnosed in children with a forward curve of greater than 45 degrees.

Children with kyphosis who are able to straighten up to normal posture are considered to have flexible round back deformity. In such cases the pediatric orthopedist may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles. Many of these children respond well and do not need additional therapy.

In cases where the x-ray shows specific vertebral body changes, the child may be diagnosed with Scheuermann’s kyphosis. This condition usually appears in adolescence. Scheuermann’s kyphosis is marked by the presence of vertebral wedging in three or more vertebrae in a row, which can be seen on a lateral (side-view) x-ray.

In a growing child, treatment of Scheuermann’s kyphosis with a spine brace may be effective. However, if the deformity continues to progress—reaching 70 degrees or greater—and the child has finished growing, surgical intervention is an option. In such cases, instrumentation is used to bring the spine into alignment, and bone grafts are made to maintain the correction of the spine.