Lumbar scoliosis refers to a sideways curve in the lower (or lumbar) portion of the spine. This spinal condition occurs in infants, adolescents, and older adults. 

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What is Lumbar Scoliosis?

Lumbar spine, illustrationOf the several different kinds of Scoliosis, Lumbar Scoliosis appears as a ‘C’ shaped curve in the lower section of the spine.  Also, this curve may occur by itself, or it may occur with thoracic scoliosis, which typically appears with an ‘S’ shape on 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.

Furthermore, lumbar scoliosis occurs most frequently in the lower back because of degeneration.  In addition, It is not uncommon for older adults, people older than 65, to have this condition. We usually see this condition with spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal.  Typically, spinal stenosis pinches the spinal nerves, and thus, makes it difficult for them to function properly. Moreover, our doctors find that back pain occurs with scoliosis in the lumbar region and begins gradually with activity. In conclusion, the curvature of the spine can appear relatively minor, so surgery only occurs when conservative methods fail to stop the pain.

Scoliosis Symptoms

To clarify, the symptoms of lumbar scoliosis differ from person to person and depend on a number of factors.  Also, these include 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 experience pain right away.

Some symptoms of lower back scoliosis include:

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


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Diagnosing Scoliosis

Doctors identify Lumbar scoliosis by looking at spine X-rays. Using our advanced low-dose X-ray imaging system, the doctor can see the exact nature of the curve while the patient gets an extremely low dose of radiation.

If the doctor needs more tests, the doctor may order a CT or MRI image.  


In most cases, doctors treat lumbar scoliosis with a brace, but in cases where the patient’s curve has grown to the point that they are in pain, surgery may be necessary. Finally, surgeries to fix lower back scoliosis are complex, multi-step procedures, but Richard Hostin, MD, Devesh Ramnath, MD, Ishaq Syed, 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

To sum up, the most common type of surgery to address lower back scoliosis refers to spinal fusion surgery.  This procedure involves inserting rods and screws into the vertebrae to prevent the spinal curve from growing.

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