13 doctors weighed in:
Does scoliosis make labor harder? Also does it make it harder putting the epidural shot in straight?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology
9 doctors agree
In brief: It depends
A mild degree of scoliosis should not be a problem. It usually affects the upper (thoracic) part of the spine, and the lower (lumbar) portion may be normal.
However, a more severe degree of scoliosis may require surgery such as harrington rods. If this has been done, an epidural may not be possible. Consult an anesthesiologist before labor for more information.

In brief: It depends
A mild degree of scoliosis should not be a problem. It usually affects the upper (thoracic) part of the spine, and the lower (lumbar) portion may be normal.
However, a more severe degree of scoliosis may require surgery such as harrington rods. If this has been done, an epidural may not be possible. Consult an anesthesiologist before labor for more information.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Dr. Karen Sibert
Thank
Dr. John Stork
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Yes, the epidural may be more difficult, but can usually be done without problems.
Scoliosis, unless extremely severe, should have little effect on the actual labor.

In brief: Yes
Yes, the epidural may be more difficult, but can usually be done without problems.
Scoliosis, unless extremely severe, should have little effect on the actual labor.
Dr. John Stork
Dr. John Stork
Thank
Dr. David Edsall
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Probably
Doing an epidural or spinal is usually more difficult if the curve is > 15 degrees.
There are special tricks that not all anesthesiologist know or have experience in doing. A paramedian type technique imay be more successful since the entrance space is larger. Get and exam and find one who knows the tricks, has been sucessful (ask how many done like you- success rate) and can use ultrasound.

In brief: Probably
Doing an epidural or spinal is usually more difficult if the curve is > 15 degrees.
There are special tricks that not all anesthesiologist know or have experience in doing. A paramedian type technique imay be more successful since the entrance space is larger. Get and exam and find one who knows the tricks, has been sucessful (ask how many done like you- success rate) and can use ultrasound.
Dr. David Edsall
Dr. David Edsall
Thank
Dr. Gabor Racz
Anesthesiology
In brief: Remember the caudal
My beutiful daughterinlaw had the exact problem and had a successful caudal epidural racz catheter and produced a beautiful grandson.
Less pain.

In brief: Remember the caudal
My beutiful daughterinlaw had the exact problem and had a successful caudal epidural racz catheter and produced a beautiful grandson.
Less pain.
Dr. Gabor Racz
Dr. Gabor Racz
Thank
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management
In brief: It can
It can make labor harder due to a shifting and altered angle of the pelvis.
Talk to you ob. In the same way it can make labor epidural placement harder. Talk to the anesthesiologist before you go into labor to make an anesthetic plan. My good friend jesse brar is an anesthesiologist in your town.

In brief: It can
It can make labor harder due to a shifting and altered angle of the pelvis.
Talk to you ob. In the same way it can make labor epidural placement harder. Talk to the anesthesiologist before you go into labor to make an anesthetic plan. My good friend jesse brar is an anesthesiologist in your town.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Thank
Dr. Matt Malkin
Anesthesiology
In brief: Yes
I am not aware of any studies associating scoliosis with difficult labor, though i can imagine extreme cases causing problems.
The epidural will be more difficult due to the rotation of the spine and off-center location since the needle will need to find a straight path. If you are thin enough to have easily-felt vertebrae, it will improve the chance of success, though not guarantee it.

In brief: Yes
I am not aware of any studies associating scoliosis with difficult labor, though i can imagine extreme cases causing problems.
The epidural will be more difficult due to the rotation of the spine and off-center location since the needle will need to find a straight path. If you are thin enough to have easily-felt vertebrae, it will improve the chance of success, though not guarantee it.
Dr. Matt Malkin
Dr. Matt Malkin
Thank
Dr. James Heid
Family Medicine
In brief: Epidural
If you have had surgery for the scoliosis, it can be hard to put the epidural in.
If you have not had surgery, most of the time there is little change in the success rate of epidurals. You may have more back pain during pregnancy and after delivery, but I do not think it should make delivery more difficult.

In brief: Epidural
If you have had surgery for the scoliosis, it can be hard to put the epidural in.
If you have not had surgery, most of the time there is little change in the success rate of epidurals. You may have more back pain during pregnancy and after delivery, but I do not think it should make delivery more difficult.
Dr. James Heid
Dr. James Heid
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Board Certified, Neurology
48 years in practice
55M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors