Congenital scoliosis is a spinal deformity in which a sideways curvature of the spine is caused by a defect present at birth. The spine may also be rotated or twisted, pulling the ribs along with it to form a multidimensional curve, often causing a hump.

SWSI Scoliosis Quiz

At Southwest Scoliosis Institute, we offer a wealth of resources about how to prepare your child for surgery, what to expect during surgery, and specific ways we make safety a top priority.

Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis occurs in only 1 in 10,000 newborns, mostly in boys, and is much less common than idiopathic scoliosis, which usually becomes evident in adolescence.

What is Congenital Scoliosis?

With congenital scoliosis, the following may occur during the baby’s development in the womb:

  • The bones (vertebrae) in the spine may not form normally
  • One or more bones in the spine may be absent
  • Bones may partially form
  • Bones may not be separated as they should be
In addition to scoliosis curves, a child’s spine may also develop other curves in the opposite direction — above or below the affected area — to compensate and maintain an upright posture. At Southwest Scoliosis Institute, each patient and parent of the patient becomes well informed of all the options available. The physicians take time to outline all options and every effort is made to take the most conservative route possible.

“I involve my patients and their families in the decision making for their child’s treatment, carefully tailoring the management to their medical & social needs and constraints. I believe in an informed patient and family, treating every child as I would my own.”Dr. Shyam Kishan


  • Tilted, uneven shoulders, with one shoulder blade protruding more than the other
  • A rotation of the neck causing the head to tilt in one direction
  • The prominence of the ribs on one side
  • Uneven waistline
  • One hip higher than the other
  • An overall appearance of leaning to the side
  • A problem with the spinal cord or nerves that produce weakness, numbness or a loss of coordination in rare cases

Diagnosing Congenital Scoliosis

In order to diagnose congenital scoliosis, the physician at Southwest Scoliosis Institute will look carefully at the child’s medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. They will also order an X-ray to get a detailed view of the spine. At the Dallas location, we have the latest technology 3D low radiation EOS X-ray, conveniently located in our office.

The physician may order further tests (such as an MRI, ultrasound) to see if there are any issues with the spinal cord itself, as well as any nerves surrounding the affected part of the spine.


For curves less than 25 degrees, we recommend ongoing monitoring by our orthopedic physicians, Dr. Kishan, Dr. Wiesman, and Dr. Hostin. If they find that the child’s spinal curves are worsening, the doctors may suggest spine bracing. “Bracing reduces the pressure on your child’s lower back and helps straighten your child’s spine. The ultimate treatment goal is to prevent the curve from progressing,” states Dr. Hostin.

For children with curves between 25 and 40 degrees, the recommended treatment will depend on your child’s individual circumstances. “Either spine bracing or spinal surgery may be the appropriate treatment for your child,” explains Dr. Kishan.

The physician may order further tests (such as an MRI, ultrasound) to see if there are any issues with the spinal cord itself, as well as any nerves surrounding the affected part of the spine.

Congenital Scoliosis Surgery

The most common surgical treatments for congenital scoliosis are implanting growing rods and spinal fusion. The determination of which surgery is right for your child will depend on your child’s age and skeletal maturity, along with a host of other medical considerations.  Our Scoliosis Doctors will take the time to review all the options with you so you can make an informed decision.

“It’s a serious surgery, so it’s critically important that we sit down with patients and their families to explain the risks and benefits of each procedure,” Dr. Hostin explains. “I spend significant time in preoperative conversations discussing the risks, the benefits, the possibilities, and what my own personal experience has been over the last 15 years. My goal is to make sure the individual or parent who opts for surgery has a complete understanding of the risks and the intended outcome.”

In addition, if your child has other health issues — such as heart, lung or kidney problems — our orthopedic team works with experts in these disciplines to ensure your child gets the comprehensive care they need.

Daughter with Congenital Scoliosis

Family consult with your physician. We not only
treat the patient, we work with the entire family.

Scoliosis X-ray

Adolescent Scoliosis X-rays pre and post surgery.

Boy patient in EOS X-ray machine

Young boy in EOS X-ray machine getting a scan.

If you think your child may suffer from scoliosis, call 214-556-0555 to make an appointment to discuss the treatment options we offer.