Spinal Problems in Children

At the Children's Health℠ Andrews Institute, our highly skilled team of orthopedic specialists treats a wide variety of spinal problems in children. Our goal is to deliver your child the most personalized, comprehensive care possible.

What are Spinal Problems in Children?

Spinal problems in children happen when the spine is abnormally curved, pressuring the vertebrae (small bones of the spine) and causing back pain and other problems.

What are the different types of Spinal Problems in Children?


Scoliosis: An abnormal sideways curve of the spine, with the twists and rotation causing back pain and, in severe cases, problems breathing (learn more about scoliosis)


Spondylolysis: An overuse injury that causes tiny stress fracture in the vertebrae, most commonly in the lumbar spine in the low back


Spondylolisthesis: A condition that occurs when one of the vertebrae slips forward, causing back pain and muscle tightness


Kyphosis: An abnormal outward curve in the mid-spine, causing a “humpback” look


Lordosis: An abnormal inward curve in the low-spine, causing a “swayback” look in which your child’s buttocks stick out more than normal

Expert care

At the Andrews Institute, our program is designed to provide a superior level of expertise, advanced technology and innovative care in one convenient location. We provide diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care such as physical therapy (PT) under one roof.

What are the signs and symptoms of Spinal Problems in Children?

Signs and symptoms of spinal problems in children include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other
  • Tilted pelvis
  • Hunched back (kyphosis)
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Difficulty breathing

At the Andrews Institute, we offer advanced diagnostic tools and pediatric orthopedic expertise to accurately diagnose your child’s unique symptoms.

How are Spinal Problems in Children diagnosed?

At the Andrews Institute, our specialists have extensive experience diagnosing the full range of spinal problems in children. We work together to ensure your child receives an accurate and quick diagnosis.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Physical exam: Looks for abnormal curve in the spine and uneven shoulders, waist or hips
  • X-ray: Uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to take detailed images of the spine
  • CT (computed tomography) scan: Uses X-rays to make detailed images of your child’s spine
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: Uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take detailed pictures of the spine
  • Bone scans: Uses a safe, small amount of radioactive substance to make detailed images of the spine

How are Spinal Problems in Children treated?

Treatment for spinal problems in children depends on the severity of the abnormal curve. Most often, our physicians can use nonsurgical treatments for spinal deformities.

Nonsurgical treatments

  • Activity modification, particularly if the activity is causing continued injury to the spine
  • Bracing to hold your child’s spine in the proper position, correcting the abnormal curve
  • In-house physical therapy (PT) and rehabilitation to reduce muscular imbalance and increase strength and flexibility, improving posture


Our goal is always the least invasive, most effective option. If symptoms worsen, though, your child may need surgery. If so, our surgeons use the latest tools and technology to realign and straighten your child’s spine.

Spinal Problems in Children Doctors and Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are possible complications of spinal problems in children?

    When the spine is shaped abnormally, your child may experience back pain from the pressure on the vertebrae. Also, children with scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis may develop body image issues.


Learn more about spinal problems in children