LUMBAR SCOLIOSIS

Lumbar scoliosis refers to an abnormal sideways curve in the lower (or lumbar) portion of the spine. This spinal deformity can occur as a result of infantile or congenital scoliosis in infants and degenerative scoliosis in older adults, but it most commonly affects adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis which presents no known cause.

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What is Lumbar Scoliosis?

Lumbar spine, illustration

Human lumbar spine, illustration.

Of the several different kinds of Scoliosis, Lumbar Scoliosis is usually characterized by a distinctive ‘C’ shaped curve in the lower section of the spine, also known as the lumbar vertebrae.  This deformity may occur by itself, or it may occur in conjunction with thoracic scoliosis, which typically presents with an ‘S’ shape to the spine as the two curves form in different directions.

In most cases, lower back scoliosis becomes apparent during early to mid-childhood. However, in cases of adult degenerative scoliosis, it may also occur along with or as the result of other related conditions, such as lumbar spinal stenosis or osteoporosis.

Scoliosis Symptoms

The symptoms of lumbar scoliosis differ from person to person and depend on a number of factors, including age, the severity of the curve, the location of the curve, and more. Some patients experience little to no scoliosis pain even after years with the condition, while others present with pain right away.

Some symptoms of lower back scoliosis include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Unusually raised or prominent hips
  • Uneven rib cage alignment
  • Uneven waist
  • Body leaning to one side
  • Back pain

Diagnosing Scoliosis

Lumbar scoliosis is typically identified by a combination of visual inspection and spine X-rays. Using the Southwest Scoliosis Institute’s advanced low-dose X-ray imaging system, the physician is able to determine the exact nature and severity of the curve while delivering an extremely low dose of radiation.

If additional imaging is required (such as images of the nerves or spinal cord), the physician may order additional imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Lower back scoliosis is typically identified by a combination of visual inspection and spine X-rays. Using the Southwest Scoliosis Institute’s advanced low-dose X-ray imaging system, the physician is able to determine the exact nature and severity of the curve while delivering an extremely low dose of radiation.

If additional imaging is required (such as images of the nerves or spinal cord), the physician may order additional imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Lumbar Scoliosis Treatment

In most cases, lumbar scoliosis can be addressed with a scoliosis brace, but in cases where the patient’s curve has progressed to the point that they are in pain, surgery may be necessary. Surgeries to fix lower back scoliosis are complex, multistep procedures, but Richard Hostin, MD, Shyam Kishan, MD, and Kathryn Wiesman, MD are specially trained and have years of experience performing these types of complex spine surgeries.

Lumbar Scoliosis Surgery

The most common type of surgery to address lower back scoliosis is called scoliosis spinal fusion surgery, which involves inserting rods and screws (known as instrumentation) into the vertebrae to prevent the spinal curvature from progressing.

If you or your loved one is suffering from scoliosis, there is hope. We can help. Call Southwest Scoliosis Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment.