Congenital Scoliosis Mercy Medical Center’s Top Spine Doctors


Scoliosis is a condition where the spine has an abnormal side-to-side curve. This 3D medical animation explains the anatomy of the spine as well as treatment for scoliosis.

The expert spine surgeons at The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy in Baltimore specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of scoliosis, including congenital, adolescent and degenerative. Our team of physicians draws on their years of innovative experience to offer patients advanced treatment options coupled with compassionate care.

About the Condition

Congenital scoliosis occurs when curvatures of the spine originate in utero. These spinal deformities are caused by formation of extra partial vertebrae or by vertebrae that fail to separate on one side as the fetus grows. While a slight back abnormality may be detected at birth, congenital scoliosis often is not apparent until adolescence. Congenital scoliosis is less common than adolescent scoliosis.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Congenital scoliosis may cause:

  • One shoulder to be higher than the other
  • One hip to be more prominent than the other
  • Prominence of one side of the rib cage (rib hump)
  • Postural imbalance with the patient’s head to the right or left of the pelvis
  • Kidney or bladder problems

Congenital scoliosis is diagnosed with a physical exam. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are conducted to view the congenital deformities of vertebrae. Ultrasound also may be conducted to examine the function of the kidneys.

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Treatment Options

Treatment for congenital scoliosis often begins with observation. Spine specialists will watch the growth development of the child and determine the best treatment plan based on the vertebrae abnormality, the degree of the spine curvature and child’s overall health. Braces or casting are not effective for congenital scoliosis.

Surgery is performed when:

  • The curvature continues to worsen during observation
  • The curve of the spine is severe
  • There is a major deformity of the spine
  • There are neurological problems due to the spinal cord being affected by the deformity

The spine specialists at The Maryland Spine Center work individually with each patient and their families to determine the best surgical options to relieve congenital scoliosis.