Pediatric Spinal Irregularities and Deformities

Pediatric Spinal Irregularities and Deformities

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Summary

When a fetus’ spine doesn’t develop correctly, a spinal irregularity or deformity may occur.

Expanded overview

Spinal irregularities and deformities are problems with the structure and function of the spine and spinal cord. When the spine of a fetus doesn’t form correctly during pregnancy, a spinal irregularity or deformity may occur.

A child born with a spinal irregularity or deformity may have other related health problems, including difficulty with breathing or walking due to the location of the spine. They may also be paralyzed from the waist down in severe instances. Spinal irregularities and deformities can also cause problems with the heart, kidneys and other organs.

Types

Types of spine irregularities or deformities include:

  • Partially formed vertebrae (bones that make up the spine)
  • Missing vertebrae
  • Fused (joined together) vertebrae
  • Curved spine (scoliosis)
  • Rounded back (kyphosis)


Symptoms

Symptoms of a spinal irregularity or deformity include:

  • Appearance of one leg longer than the other
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Problems with breathing caused by spine location
  • Rounded back (kyphosis)
  • Spine that is twisted to one side (scoliosis)
  • Tilted pelvis
  • Uneven shoulders or hips

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