Contributing Causes of Spinal Deformity


Lead Author(s): 

Michael D. Daubs, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Spinal deformity can be caused by congenital conditions and due to aging wear and tear on the back. Medical conditions and poor bone quality may also contribute to spinal deformity, however, in many cases the cause remains unknown.

Several conditions known to contribute to spinal deformity were examined as cross diagnoses with spinal deformity at the time of a healthcare visit. The most frequent diagnosis with one in ten (9.3%) hospital discharges and a scoliosis diagnosis was congenital spinal disorders. Four other conditions – trauma/spinal fractures, spinal infections, spondylopathies, and complications of surgery – were found in less than 2% of scoliosis and between 2% and 4% of sagittal imbalance hospital discharge diagnoses. Looking at all healthcare resources, the cross-diagnosis of spinal deformity and a contributing cause dropped to 0.3% among scoliosis discharges and 0.2% among sagittal imbalance visits. (Reference Table 2B.6.0 PDF CSV)

Several studies have examined the relationship between spinal deformity and contributing causes, but until identification of multiple conditions is made, no clear relationship can be established.


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