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Childhood Scoliosis Specialist

Dr. S. Samuel Bederman -  - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Dr. S. Samuel Bederman

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon & Back, Spine, & Neck Specialist located in Orange, CA

Scoliosis describes a side-to-side (S-shaped) curve of the spine that can cause pain and dysfunction. Mild cases of scoliosis can be managed with noninvasive treatments, but in some cases, spine surgery is the only treatment that will work. Expert orthopedic spine surgeon S. Samuel Bederman, MD, of RESTORE Orthopedics and Spine Center in Orange, California, provides evaluation and surgery, when necessary, for scoliosis cases. Call today to set up a review of your case or schedule an appointment online.

Childhood Scoliosis Q & A


What is Scoliosis?

When your spine curves sideways and rotates, you’re diagnosed with scoliosis. Scoliosis typically develops just before puberty, when you have a large growth spurt.

Suspect scoliosis if you notice the following:

  • Curvature of the spine
  • One hip sitting higher than the other
  • One-shoulder sitting higher than the other
  • Shoulder blades that look mismatched
  • Uneven waist
  • Prominent rib cage

 Most cases of scoliosis are mild and don’t require significant treatment. Some cases, however, can be severe and have crippling effects.

What causes Scoliosis?

Up to 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. In these cases, a genetic link is suspected and isn’t the result of carrying a heavy backpack or poor posture. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis most commonly shows up in teenage girls. Other causes of scoliosis include: 

Neuromuscular scoliosis 

This version results from conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida in children or multiple sclerosis in adults.

Congenital scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis results from fetal abnormalities during the development of the spine that can get worse during periods of growth.

Other causes

Genetic disorders like dwarfism and syndromic disorders can also cause scoliosis.

What complications are associated with Scoliosis?

Most cases of scoliosis are mild and don’t cause any noticeable effects. Dr. Bederman would usually recommend monitoring and regular X-rays to ensure these cases don’t get worse.

In some cases, scoliosis can cause complications, including:

  • Heart and lung damage as your rib cage presses against your organs
  • Back pain
  • Distorted posture and appearance

If you suffer these symptoms, your curve quickly gets worse, or your existing curve is exceptionally severe, noninvasive measures like bracing and physical therapy will likely be insufficient. Dr. Bederman would then recommend surgery to correct your scoliosis.

How is scoliosis treated?

Dr. Bederman uses nonsurgical treatments for scoliosis whenever possible. For childhood scoliosis, these treatments include:

  • Routine monitoring and low-dose radiation EOS X-rays
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing and other garments that keep the curve from getting worse

If these noninvasive methods fail, surgery would be the next step. 

What is involved in surgery for scoliosis?

Surgery may be necessary for patients with major curves causing discomfort, rapid progression, or other health problems.

Robotic surgery and 3D patient-specific guided surgery are safe and accurate ways to improve scoliosis surgery. Dr. Bederman is a pioneer in the field of robotic surgery and 3D patient-specific guided spinal surgery.

If you or a loved one suffers from abnormal curvature of the spine, call RESTORE Orthopedics and Spine Center or book an appointment online today for evaluation and treatment.

Childhood Scoliosis Support Groups