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.

Scoliosis Q & A

What is scoliosis?

When your spine curves sideways, 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:

  • One hip sitting higher than the other
  • Shoulder blades that look mismatched
  • Uneven waist


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.

What is Scheuermann’s disease?

Scheuermann’s disease is a developmental disorder of the spine that describes an abnormal growth of the upper back vertebrae but may also show up in the vertebrae in the lower back. This is a separate condition from scoliosis.

In Scheuermann’s disease, the back of the vertebrae grow normally and the front grows more slowly, causing the bones to develop a wedge shape and creating a hunchback posture.

What is involved in surgery for scoliosis or Scheuermann’s disease?

Robotic surgery is a safe and accurate way to improve scoliosis. Dr. Bederman is a pioneer in the field of robotic spinal surgery. In cases of Scheuermann’s disease, he could recommend spinal fusion 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
(Spinal Curvatures)

Scoliosis is a side-to-side curve of the spine. These curves can cause the shoulders, hips or waist to look uneven. In addition to the curvature, the spine becomes rotated which can cause one shoulder blade or one side of the low back muscles to be more prominent than the other.

Childhood Scoliosis Support Groups


  • Curvature of the spine
  • Shoulder blade or waistline asymmetry
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Rib prominence in the upper back
  • Flank or waist prominence in the lower back
Read more


  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis – In most cases of scoliosis, the cause is unknown, but a genetic link is suspected. It does not result simply from carrying heavy objects or poor posture. It is found most commonly in adolescent girls.
  • Neuromuscular Scoliosis – resulting from conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy or Spina Bifida in children or Multiple Sclerosis in adults
  • Congenital Scoliosis – resulting from fetal abnormalities during the development of the spine that can progress during periods of growth
  • Other Causes – dwarfism, genetic disorders, syndromic disorders, etc.


Non-Surgical Treatments of childhood scoliosis include:

  • Routine monitoring of the curve with follow-up examinations and x-rays when necessary
  • Physical therapy in some cases
  • Wearing a brace or other garments to try to prevent curve progression

Surgery may be necessary for patients with major curves causing discomfort, rapid progression, or other health problems. Robotic surgery has improved the safety and accuracy of scoliosis surgery.

Adult Scoliosis
(Spinal Curvatures)

Adult scoliosis, like childhood scoliosis, results in a side-to-side curve of the spine. For adults who had scoliosis in childhood, their curve may progress even after they are full grown on average by 1° per year as the spine ages. The larger the curve the more likely it is to progress, which is why adult scoliosis specialists should monitor the curves over time. Other adults who never had scoliosis in childhood may develop late-onset scoliosis from wear and tear (degenerative) conditions such as disc degeneration or arthritis of the spine. These can cause progressive curvatures and loss of normal swayback leading to pain, stooped posture or nerve problems.


  • Numbness, cramping and shooting pain in the legs due to pinched nerves
  • Fatigue from strain on the muscles of the lower back and legs from bending knees and leaning back on hips
  • Stooped posture or listing to one side
  • Pain from impingement of the ribs on the pelvis
Read more


Non-surgical treatments of adult scoliosis include:

  • Pain relieving medication
  • Physical therapy or other exercises aimed at strengthening muscles and improving flexibility and posture
  • Support garments
  • Epidurals or nerve block injections

Surgery may be necessary for patients who have failed to improve with non-surgical treatment, who have disabling back or leg pain, restricted function, reduced quality of life, or worsening posture/balance.  has improved the safety and accuracy of surgery in this condition.