New York Spine Institute Spine Services

Spine Conditions: Congenital Scoliosis

New York Spine Institute can help offer guidance and treatment plans for multiple types of spinal conditions including Congenital Scoliosis. We have offices throughout Greater New York City to help assist you in the most convenient way.*


Congenital scoliosis is a less common form of scoliosis, only affecting 1 in 10,000 newborns. It is a spinal deformity that causes a sideways curvature of the spine due to a birth defect. In some cases the spine can be rotated or twisted which causes the ribs to be pulled, forming a multidimensional curve.*

Congenital scoliosis occurs early in development, within in the first six weeks of embryonic formation. Other issues such as kidney or bladder problems may occur with children diagnosed with congenital scoliosis. In some cases, though the defect is present at birth it may go unseen until later in their adolescent years.*

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Why Choose NYSI

Quality Care

With a team of dedicated doctors you can be sure that your child will receive only the best care with us here at NYSI. We have customized treatment plans and will be there with you and your family from the initial consultation up until treatment and follow-up care.*

Industry Leaders

Our years of expert treatment and procedures have turned our doctors and surgeons into industry leaders. We can handle everything from common to complex forms of scoliosis here at NYSI, led by our top medical director Alexandre B. de Moura, M.D. FAAOS.*

Multiple Languages

Language barriers will never be a problem for our patients here at NYSI. Our talented staff members speak multiple languages, including: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Russian.*


Understanding the Causes Of Your Congenital Scoliosis

Your child’s pediatrician will typically detect congenital scoliosis during their first examination of birth, due to an abnormality of their spine. Though, for some it can go unnoticed for years until it becomes easily visible to either the child or parents.*

Congenital scoliosis can be caused when any of the following occur while the baby is in the womb*:

  • Abnormalities in the vertebres
  • One or more missing bones in the spine
  • Partially formed bones
  • Vertebrae that fail to separate

It is common for children with congenital scoliosis to form other curves in their spine as their bodies way of trying to compensate for the deformity.*


Diagnosing Your Congenital Scoliosis

Typically scoliosis is not painful, which is why it sometimes goes undetected until later in life. Most symptoms are visible curvatures as opposed to any pain. In order to receive optimal care and treatment, early detection is necessary.*

Some symptoms that patients and families can look out for are*:

  • Uneven or tilted shoulders
  • A rotation of the neck causing the head to tilt in one direction
  • The prominence of the ribs on one side
  • Uneven waistline/hips
  • Visible lean to one side
  • Weakness, numbness or a loss of coordination

A physician will thoroughly review your family’s medical history and perform a physical examination on your child. The forward bend test can detect scoliosis but not the presence of congenital abnormalities. Imaging tests can provide more information, and you may find your child’s physician using one of the following tests*:

  • EOS imaging uses an ultra-low dose of radiation to produce three-dimensional models from two planar images. EOS images are taken while the child is in an upright or standing position.
  • X-rays are a common testing tool which will show images of your child’s back and side, showing any curvatures or abnormalities.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan uses both X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (“slices”) of the body. They produce detailed images of the vertebrae.

Treatment Options For Your Congenital Scoliosis

Depending on the severity of your child’s diagnosis, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatment options.*

Nonsurgical Treatments

  • Bracing– Braces or casts are effective for some patients whose condition isn’t severe enough for surgery, they can also help control compensatory curves. Bracing is typically recommended for those whose curves are less than 25 degrees.

Surgical Treatments:

  • Growing Rods– Implanting growing rods, which are attached to the spine at two spots, both above and below the curve will help correct any spinal curvatures and allow continuous spinal growth. Most children will return every six months to have their rods expanded.
  • Spinal Fusion– This is a surgery in which the vertebrae are straightened and fused together with metal implants to help correct and hold the curvature. The surgery allows the fused vertebrae to heal as a solid bone.
  • Hemivertebra Removal– By removing a single hemivertebra it can allow your child’s spinal curvature to straighten and maintain its growth using metal implants.

With several treatment options to help correct congenital scoliosis, your child’s physician will take many factors into account when diagnosing them. The type of abnormality, the severity of curvatures, and other health conditions will help determine the best plan of care.*

*The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment will vary by patient and condition. New York Spine Institute does not guarantee certain results.

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