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A 31-year-old member asked:

Is it true that congenital scoliosis is life threatening?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Glickman
Neurosurgery 20 years experience
No: Congenital scoliosis is not life threatening in isolation. However, if very severe, there can be neuromuscular restrictions and pain that worsen with time, often the reason people undergo surgery. With chronicity (many years), severe cases lead to restrictive lung disease that an shorten life if not treated.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 30 years experience
Not typically: not typically. The two exception to that are if the curve has been allowed to progress to an exceptionally large degree that it effects lung or cardiac function, which is quite rare nowadays. Or two, if the patient has other associated conditions with the scoliosis such as congenital heart or kidney problems which can be seen in a small percentage of cases.

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Last updated Jul 7, 2014

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