Scoliosis

Common Questions

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. It can occur in children during growth spurts or in adults due to injury, degeneration or osteoporosis. While the disease is different for every patient, scoliosis can range anywhere from mild to acute, with pain from non-existent to severe

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

If your doctor detects evidence of an abnormal curvature of your spine, he or she will perform a thorough examination that may include having you bend at the waist in order to measure the degree of curvature.  If the disease is suspected, X-rays can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the spinal curvature using the Cobb Method, which diagnoses severity by the number of degrees of abnormal curvature.

The following are the most common symptoms of scoliosis:

  • Unevenness in the shoulders
  • Pain, which can be debilitating, in the back and lower extremities

What are the risk factors for scoliosis?

  • Age: Symptoms of scoliosis often begin during puberty, often between the age of 10 and 18. You might notice your child’s hips are uneven or his/her backpack straps slide off one shoulder easily. You might also notice your child’s ribs are uneven. 
  • Sex: Both boys and girls can develop signs of scoliosis during puberty, but the condition affects more girls than boys. Girls are also more likely to require treatment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
  • Family history: Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a relative with the condition. Having a parent or sibling with scoliosis increases a person’s chances of having scoliosis too.
Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis. Now What do I do?

You don’t have to hurt. When you need spine care in Orange County, trust Hoag. At Hoag, our fellowship-trained team of spine specialists is here to help get you back to doing the things that matter most. We’re committed to treating you like a person, not a chart. Hoag provides the latest technology and treatments, with minimally-invasive techniques designed to help you recover quicker with less pain. Meet the Hoag Spine Center Team.

What treatments are available for scoliosis?

Those with very mild scoliosis may not need any treatments at all. While scoliosis can’t be cured, there are three main methods to manage more severe or painful cases of the disease: 

  • Observation/lifestyle changes
  • Physical therapy/bracing
  • Surgery

Your  doctor will recommend one of these methods based on the severity of the scoliosis and — if the patient is a child — the patient’s physical maturity. Pain management using corticosteroid spinal injections can also be effective.

Services Offered

Minimally-invasive robotic spinal surgery at Hoag

When your spine is on the line, trust Hoag for spine surgery. Hoag was the first hospital on the West Coast to offer the Mazor X Stealth™   advanced robotic navigation platform for spinal surgery. Combining 3D pre-operative planning tools with robotic precision, the system provides surgeons with advanced visualization of your body’s unique internal structures, and you with the great chance to come back strong from back surgery. Learn more about advanced robotic surgery at Hoag.

Award-Winning Care for the Spine at Hoag

There’s a reason why U.S. News and World Report’s 2022-2023 list of top hospitals ranked Hoag as High Performing — their top distinction — in neurology, neurosurgery and spinal fusion. A higher standard of care. Accurate diagnosis for more successful treatment. A multidisciplinary team of spine-care specialists who are committed to seeing you heal. That’s spinal care at Hoag. Read an essay about a real Hoag patient’s spine-care journey.

Confused about your condition? Trust Hoag Nurse Navigators

Facing a health issue that could involve surgery can be confusing for anyone. That’s why the Hoag Spine Center offers our unique Nurse Navigator program. These trained nurses are there for you, both as a guide and a resource for medically-accurate information about your unique diagnosis. It’s one more way Hoag is here for you through your journey as a patient, every step of the way. Get started with our spine nurse navigator.

Common Questions

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. It can occur in children during growth spurts or in adults due to injury, degeneration or osteoporosis. While the disease is different for every patient, scoliosis can range anywhere from mild to acute, with pain from non-existent to severe

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

If your doctor detects evidence of an abnormal curvature of your spine, he or she will perform a thorough examination that may include having you bend at the waist in order to measure the degree of curvature.  If the disease is suspected, X-rays can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the spinal curvature using the Cobb Method, which diagnoses severity by the number of degrees of abnormal curvature.

The following are the most common symptoms of scoliosis:

  • Unevenness in the shoulders
  • Pain, which can be debilitating, in the back and lower extremities

What are the risk factors for scoliosis?

  • Age: Symptoms of scoliosis often begin during puberty, often between the age of 10 and 18. You might notice your child’s hips are uneven or his/her backpack straps slide off one shoulder easily. You might also notice your child’s ribs are uneven. 
  • Sex: Both boys and girls can develop signs of scoliosis during puberty, but the condition affects more girls than boys. Girls are also more likely to require treatment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
  • Family history: Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a relative with the condition. Having a parent or sibling with scoliosis increases a person’s chances of having scoliosis too.

Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis. Now What do I do?

You don’t have to hurt. When you need spine care in Orange County, trust Hoag. At Hoag, our fellowship-trained team of spine specialists is here to help get you back to doing the things that matter most. We’re committed to treating you like a person, not a chart. Hoag provides the latest technology and treatments, with minimally-invasive techniques designed to help you recover quicker with less pain. Meet the Hoag Spine Center Team.

What treatments are available for scoliosis?

Those with very mild scoliosis may not need any treatments at all. While scoliosis can’t be cured, there are three main methods to manage more severe or painful cases of the disease: 

  • Observation/lifestyle changes
  • Physical therapy/bracing
  • Surgery

Your  doctor will recommend one of these methods based on the severity of the scoliosis and — if the patient is a child — the patient’s physical maturity. Pain management using corticosteroid spinal injections can also be effective.

Services Offered

Minimally-invasive robotic spinal surgery at Hoag

When your spine is on the line, trust Hoag for spine surgery. Hoag was the first hospital on the West Coast to offer the Mazor X Stealth™   advanced robotic navigation platform for spinal surgery. Combining 3D pre-operative planning tools with robotic precision, the system provides surgeons with advanced visualization of your body’s unique internal structures, and you with the great chance to come back strong from back surgery. Learn more about advanced robotic surgery at Hoag.

Award-Winning Care for the Spine at Hoag

There’s a reason why U.S. News and World Report’s 2022-2023 list of top hospitals ranked Hoag as High Performing — their top distinction — in neurology, neurosurgery and spinal fusion. A higher standard of care. Accurate diagnosis for more successful treatment. A multidisciplinary team of spine-care specialists who are committed to seeing you heal. That’s spinal care at Hoag. Read an essay about a real Hoag patient’s spine-care journey.

Confused about your condition? Trust Hoag Nurse Navigators

Facing a health issue that could involve surgery can be confusing for anyone. That’s why the Hoag Spine Center offers our unique Nurse Navigator program. These trained nurses are there for you, both as a guide and a resource for medically-accurate information about your unique diagnosis. It’s one more way Hoag is here for you through your journey as a patient, every step of the way. Get started with our spine nurse navigator.