Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to have a curve that looks like an “S” or “C” instead of an “I.” It also causes a rotated or twisted spine, which can pull the ribs along with it to form a curve.

Scoliosis types

Idiopathic scoliosis – the most common form; it has no known cause. This type affects girls more than boys and tends to run in families. It makes the spine look like an “S” or a “C.” There are three age groups for this type:

  • Infantile: diagnosed from birth to age 3
  • Juvenile: diagnosed from ages 3 to 9
  • Adolescent: the most common, diagnosed from ages 10 to 18

Neuromuscular scoliosis – the second-most common form of scoliosis. It is associated with neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. This type of scoliosis makes a child’s spine look more like a letter “C.” It also will make the spine rotate or twist, pulling the ribs with it to make a curve.

Congenital scoliosis – present at birth and is due to the vertebrae (bones) in the spine not forming the way they should. The following may occur during a baby’s development, which can cause the bones to be:

  • Missing
  • Not separated the way they should be
  • Partially formed
  • Not formed the way they should be

Scoliosis treatment options

Our team treats children with all types of scoliosis, from mild to severe. Children are different, and our treatment plans focus on what will help your child have the best outcome.
Depending on scoliosis type, there are surgical and nonsurgical options:

Nonsurgical options

  • Monitoring
  • Bracing
  • Casting
  • Physical therapy

Surgical options

  • Spinal fusion – surgery to stop a severe curve from progressing. It involves rods and bone grafting to help the spine fuse and improve the curvature.
  • Posterior fusion – the most common operation for idiopathic scoliosis, done through one incision in the back.
  • Anterior fusion. – done through the chest, often for curves lower in the spine
  • Anterior and posterior fusion some children require both surgeries. They may be done in the same day or spaced a few weeks apart.
  • Spinal osteotomy – surgery to help realign the back with partial removal of bone from the spine
  • Vertebral growth modulation – surgery that tries to heal the curve with growth.


Most children and teens diagnosed with scoliosis can look forward to active lives. The outlook for your child greatly depends on the type of scoliosis and your child’s age when diagnosed. If your child’s bones are still growing, it’s an important time for treatment. Early diagnosis and early treatment are keys for all types of scoliosis.

Our team

Joshua W. Meier, M.D.
Jennifer M. Brey, M.D.
Mitchell J. Campbell, M.D.
Charles H. Crawford III, M.D.
John R. Dimar II, M.D.
Mladen Djurasovic, M.D.
Steven Glassman, M.D.
Jeffrey L. Gum, M.D.
Laura K. Jacks, M.D.
Star L. Nixon, M.D.
R. Kirk Owens II, M.D.
Rolando M. Puno, M.D.
Kent L. Walker, D.O.
Sarah DuPlessis, PA-C
Andrea E. Ryan, PA-C
Wendy Luber, R.N.

Orthopedics – 5678

Contact Us

Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.

(502) 394-5678

Revolutionary CAR-T cell therapy for leukemia treatment coming to Louisville

Kids with leukemia in the Louisville area soon will be able to get the next big advance in treatment, a revolutionary immunotherapy known as CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T cells) therapy. In CAR-T therapy, a […]

Read Full Story

Pilot School-based Telemedicine Program available to JCPS students at select schools

Thanks to a new collaboration between Norton Healthcare and Jefferson County Public Schools, students at three schools have access to online medical care while at school. The pilot School-based Telemedicine Program allows a child to […]

Read Full Story

7 questions to ask before your child gets general anesthesia

If your child needs surgery that will involve general anesthesia, it’s important to know that pediatric patients have unique needs.   Their brains and bodies are still developing, and administering anesthesia to pediatric patients is […]

Read Full Story

What you should know about anesthesia for ear tube surgery

Ear tubes and other ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeries are among the most common requiring general anesthesia for children 1 to 3 years old and babies as young as 6 months.   The procedure […]

Read Full Story

What is a neonatologist?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. Premature births, also called preterm births, happen when a baby is born before 37 weeks […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.