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Scoliosis Care

Baylor Scoliosis Center

Plano and McKinney Texas Locations 972.985.2797
Fort Worth, Texas Location 817.922.2880

Toll Free 1.888.781.5558

Scoiosis treatment in Plano Texas 
Need something? Call us: 1.800.4BAYLOR(1.800.422.9567)
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Scoliosis Information/FAQ 

Scoliosis is one of the more common disorders of the spine. Most patients experience few problems, but for those with a progressive curvature, problems can be severe.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with scoliosis, we know you have many questions. Learn answers to the most common questions below. We’re here to help. If you have further questions, please call the Baylor Scoliosis Center at 972.985.2797.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn the answers to common questions about scoliosis: 

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a disorder of the spine in which the vertebrae rotate, creating a curve in the upper or lower back.

Patients can experience a mild case of scoliosis with little pain or disfigurement or a more severe case of scoliosis, where increased curvature, pain and disfigurement result. This can cause difficulties walking and even breathing.

What are the types of scoliosis?
There are several different types of scoliosis. The most common types are: 

Idiopathic Scoliosis means literally “of undetermined cause.”[i] This type of scoliosis is thought to be genetic, involving multiple genes and a concept called variable penetrance. This means in each generation there is variability in how strongly the genes are expressed, or how severe the curve is.

  • Infantile Idiopathic scoliosis (from birth to 3 years of age)
  • Juvenile Idiopathic scoliosis (from 3 to 10 years of age)
  • Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis (from 10 to 18 years of age)
  • Adult idiopathic scoliosis (18 years and older)

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common diagnosis in children, representing nearly 90 percent of cases.

Congenital Scoliosis involves spinal bones that did not form properly during fetal development.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis involves abnormalities in neuromuscular function. These include:

  • Neuropathic (abnormal nerve function from diseases such as cerebral palsy)
  • Myopathic (abnormal muscle function from diseases such as muscular dystrophy 

Adult Scoliosis is classified in the following ways:

  • Pure Degenerative. These scoliosis patients had straight spines earlier in life but develop curvatures from wear and tear of the aging spine.
  • Od Idiopathic Curves with Degenerations. These scoliosis patients had curves in childhood and increased curvature later in life.
  • Secondary. These scoliosis patients experience curves caused by other conditions, such as tumors and fractures. 

How is it diagnosed?

The Baylor Scoliosis Center offers comprehensive diagnosis of each patient's specific curvature through a physical examination of the back and extensive testing, including specialized X-rays. 

What causes scoliosis?

The causes for scoliosis are not entirely understood. In fact, according to the Scoliosis Research Society, a specific cause is not found in 8 of every 10 cases.[ii]

While many cases of scoliosis are thought to be genetic, there is no single cause that is widely agreed upon.

Several observations do exist:

  • Heredity. Scoliosis does tend to run in families. It also tends to have  different effects in each generation—perhaps even skipping generations.
  • Degeneration. Adult scoliosis can be caused by disk degeneration, osteoporosis or osteomalacia, a softening of the bones.
  • Spinal cord injury. Scoliosis can appear following spinal surgery or a spinal cord injury or trauma. Patients who had polio in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s are now also experiencing scoliosis as a result of paralysis.
  • Congenital. Scoliosis can result from improper formation of spinal bones during fetal development.
  • Neuromuscular. Abnormal nerve or muscle function can result in scoliosis.

Research is being conducted to identify specific genes associated with scoliosis. We hope to be better able to predict which curves are at highest risk for progression based on a patient’s specific genetic markers. 

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

Scoliosis can be a hidden disorder with no obvious signs of curvature or it can cause great disfigurement, pain and disability. Some patients have undetected scoliosis for years until the curve starts to increase, causing pain and difficulty.

Some symptoms include:

  • One shoulder that appears to be higher than the other
  • A pelvis that appears to be tilted
  • Any imbalance in the rib cage or other deformities along the back

In more advanced cases, scoliosis patients have reported pain, limited movement, difficulty breathing, headaches and even sleepiness.

Is scoliosis worse in girls and women?

The natural history of the disease in women is different than in men. Overall, about the same number of men and women are diagnosed with scoliosis, but young women diagnosed as an adolescent or young adult face a progression rate of seven to eight times higher than boys.

There Are Some Curves a Woman Shouldn't Have®

Despite the fact that men and women have nearly the same incidence of scoliosis, women have progressive disease much more frequently.

In fact, young women diagnosed in adolescence or young adulthood with scoliosis face a progression rate of seven to eight times higher than boys. The reasons for this are not well understood.

Generally, women with scoliosis fall into one of these three categories:

  • Young women with a very large spinal curvature and no pain. The probability of their scoliosis progressing is 80 or 90 percent. If left untreated now, they may have problems later.
  • Young women with a history of scoliosis who were told their spinal curves would not progress in adulthood. After pregnancy, however, things changed. A combination of stepped-up hormone production and lax ligaments during pregnancy may have led to new curvature and pain.
  • Women who had a small curve that progressed – unrelated to pregnancy – during adulthood. Later in life, these women may experience pain and deformity that affects quality of life.

What are my scoliosis treatment options?

If left untreated, scoliosis can lead to a disfiguring curve, pain and limited mobility. Generally, treatment for scoliosis has included observation, bracing and/or surgery.  

What are other common spine conditions?

The bones of the spine are arranged to give the spinal column stability. Damage or defects within the supporting structures of the lumbar spine can often be the source of back pain. The Baylor Scoliosis Center treats other back health issues including: 

  • Herniated Disc
  • Scheuermann's Kyphosis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

For a referral to a scoliosis specialist on the Baylor Plano medical staff, click here.