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Spinal Deformity

Causes of Abnormal Spinal Curves

There are many different causes of abnormal spinal curves. Some persons are born with spinal defects that cause the spine to grow unevenly. A condition called congenital scoliosis involves a sideways curvature of the spine. Congenital kyphosis involves a forward rounding of your upper back. Combined kyphosis and scoliosis is called kyphoscoliosis.

In addition to congenital conditions, some other causes of scoliosis may be nerve or muscle diseases, injuries, or other illnesses that cause spinal deformities such as cerebral palsy or myelomeningocele. Other causes of kyphosis may be the following:

  • Degenerative arthritis of the spine
  • Osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebrae
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Spina bifida

Performing Surgery to Treat Spinal Curves

If you have a spinal curve that is causing you pain or affecting your health, and the curve does not respond to bracing, your doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to reduce the degree of curvature. Surgery varies greatly depending upon the amount of spine fused and you may or may not experience a noticeable loss of spinal motion.

  • One of the procedures that your orthopedic surgeon may recommend is spinal fusion. Your orthopedic surgeon will operate on the spine, adding bone chips and allowing the vertebral bones and bone chips to slowly heal together to form a solid mass of bone called a fusion.

  • Another procedure, Kyphoplasty injects a type of inert cement into the affected vertebrae.

After your surgery, you will be taught how to move, sit, stand and walk in a manner that keeps your spine aligned. You may be able to start a physical rehabilitation program as soon as 4 weeks.


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