Spinal Deformity

If you’re suffering from back pain, neck pain, or any spine injury, learn how Dr. Derek Snook and JIS Orthopedics can help you get back to living your life without limits. To schedule a consultation, click the button below!

Related Services

What Our Patients Say

“I would just like to say thank you very much for helping me with my back issues and that you were all very pleasant and made me feel relaxed about the journey I’m going to have to have on my back. It is very appreciated and thank you so much.” — Jennifer D. 

Spinal deformities can occur during childhood or in adult life. These deformities can get worse over time. Therefore, early treatment is highly recommended. We will consider the different types of spinal deformities and the treatment options that are available.

If you feel discomfort and pain in your spine and want to know about available treatment options, contact one of our offices today at JIS Orthopedics. We have locations in New Albany and St. Clairsville, Ohio for your convenience.

Our expert orthopedic specialists fully understand the spine and can provide a treatment plan that can help relieve pain. Give us a call or book your visit online!

Anatomy of the Spine

Your spinal column consists of a series of 24 bones that run down the middle of your back. These bones are called vertebrae. In between each vertebrae is a disc which protects the spine and provides flexibility.

The vertebral column has a natural curve that helps to absorb shock and distribute your weight evenly. These bones also house the spinal cord.

Your spine has the following 4 main regions:

  • Cervical spine: This part of the spine makes up the neck. It runs between the base of the skull and the upper back.
  • Thoracic spine: This is the region of your upper back, providing it with support and stability. Your thoracic spine attaches to your rib cage, forming part of the protection for many vital organs.
  • Lumbar spine: This region makes up your lower back, starting from just below your shoulder blades. The vertebrae here are larger than the rest of the spine, and they support the weight of your torso.
  • Sacral region: This region is the base of your spine.

What is Deformity of the Spine?

A normal spine will have a curve with a stretched-out “S” shape. Spinal deformity occurs when the curve becomes abnormal. Spinal injuries can occur as a result of a birth defect, a child’s growth, injury, aging, or previous spine surgery.

Types of Spinal Deformities

There are several different types of spinal deformities. These can include the following:


This condition is seen as an exaggerated outward curvature of the spine. It is characterized by the “hunchback” posture. Kyphosis can be caused by weakened spinal muscles or trauma. The condition may occur during childhood or adult life.


This condition is when your spine curves to the left or right. It usually occurs in the upper back. Causes of scoliosis include congenital spine deformities, neuromuscular conditions, and other unknown factors.

The curve of the spine may be present at birth or may develop later. The most common form is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which can develop between the ages of 10 and 17. Another form is adult degenerative scoliosis, which occurs later in adult life.


This condition occurs when one of your bones slips forward out of place. Spondylolisthesis can happen with degenerative disc disease or trauma. Symptoms of this condition include back pain and muscle spasms.

Spondylolisthesis through disc degeneration will usually occur in adult life. When spondylolisthesis occurs because of a stress fracture, the fracture itself usually occurs in adolescence; however, it will usually go unnoticed until adulthood.

Spinal Stenosis

This condition is when the space inside the spine is too small and pinches the spinal nerves. Stenosis may be related to age-related wear-and-tear on the spine. Symptoms of spinal stenosis include numbness, tingling, weakness, or cramping in legs or arms.

Spinal stenosis usually occurs in older adults.


This condition is characterized by an abnormal inward curvature of the spine. The causes of lordosis can be genetic or due to poor posture.

Lordosis can occur at any age, but it is most common in older adults.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This condition is a type of arthritis that affects the spine’s joints and ligaments. As ankylosing spondylitis progresses, the joints and vertebrae fuse. This reduces the flexibility of the spine.

Adults, rather than children, are more likely to develop ankylosing spondylitis.

Diagnosing Spinal Deformity

Diagnosis of spinal deformities begins with a physical examination. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your posture and spine mobility. They may also send for the following imaging tests:

  • X-rays: This test captures images of bone and can detect arthritis, fractures, slippage of the vertebrae, or bone spurs.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: A CT scan can also be used to take images of your bone structures.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI scans will show injuries to soft tissue like discs and ligaments. They can also help your doctor assess spinal cord injury.
  • Myelogram: This is a type of X-ray that uses a contrast dye to detect problems in the spinal canal.
  • Bone Density Test: A bone density scan may be used if your doctor suspects osteoarthritis.

How Can Spinal Deformities Be Treated?

Spinal deformities can be treated in several different ways. Below you’ll find a detailed list of how a spinal deformity can be addressed.

Pain Management

The following medications can be used to provide pain relief:

  • NSAIDs
  • Steroid injections
  • Narcotics
  • Cortisone injections

Physical Therapy

Orthopedic surgeons can use occupational and physical therapy techniques to help in managing spinal deformities. Physical therapy includes exercises that can strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Exercises can also be given to help with mobility and flexibility of the spine.

Spinal Surgery

All efforts will be made to help your spinal deformity with conservative treatments. However, some conditions may require surgery. Surgery may include spinal fusion, where bones are fused in place with the help of a bone graft.

Get Help with Your Spinal Deformity

If you are feeling discomfort and pain in your back and want to know about available treatment options, our specialists at JIS Orthopedics are ready to help. Contact our office in New Albany or St. Clairsville, OH today! Our highly-skilled doctors have the expertise to give you the quality care you need. 

Medically reviewed by Derek Snook, MD

Seeing a Spine Specialist

Even if you follow steps to help protect your spine, injuries can still happen. When they do, schedule an appointment with Dr. Derek Snook at JIS Orthopedics! Scheduling an appointment earlier can help shorten your recovery and get you back to the thins you love.  We want to help you live without limits!


Request a Callback