Spinal Deformity Correction

There are numerous types of spinal deformity. Spinal deformity can be hereditary (inherited), or the result of arthritis, trauma, tumors, or previous surgeries. They can even be idiopathic in nature (no identifiable cause). Fortunately, most often, spinal deformities are, at most, cosmetic issues, that do not affect your long-term health or increase your risk of back pain. Sometimes, however, spinal deformities should be treated.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

A scoliosis is an S-shaped curvature to the spine. In kids and teenagers, large curves, if left unaddressed, can progress as they grow into adults, and may eventually affect one's ability to breathe. In worst case scenarios, very severe curves may affect heart function. Fortunately, in most cases, no surgery is needed.


Kyphosis is a bending forward of the spine. It can sometimes progress and cause a lot of back pain.  This occurs most commonly in the mid-back.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Scoliosis can also be the result of arthritis. This type of scoliosis most often occurs in the low back and in older individuals. Similar to other arthritic conditions of the spine, degenerative lumbar scoliosis can lead to back pain, radiculopathy, and/or neurogenic claudication. In some individuals, degenerative scoliosis can be crippling.

Flat-back deformity

Arthritis and even poorly planned surgeries can lead to a flat-back deformity. In this type of deformity, one loses the normal curvature in the low back. As a result of this, you can feel like you’re leaning forward. In fact, with this type of deformity, the body actually has to work harder keep you standing upright. As a result of this, you may experience a significant amount of low back pain.  

Cervical deformity

Arthritis or previous surgeries in the cervical spine can also lead to deformities of the cervical spine. A chin-on-chest deformity is an example of a cervical deformity that results in an inability to look forward.
Whether you have scoliosis, kyphosis, a flat-back deformity, or a cervical deformity, the majority of spinal deformities can be corrected with spinal surgery, if necessary.

While most deformity surgery nowadays is performed through a large open approach, in more recent years, minimally invasive techniques have been developed to correct spinal deformity. Minimally invasive techniques makes surgery safer, and recovery less painful and quicker following surgery.

Dr. Andrew Chung has undergone specialized training in minimally invasive spinal deformity corrective techniques under some of the world's leading experts in minimally invasive spine deformity surgery. If you have a spinal deformity that is affecting your quality of life and are considering surgery as an option, let’s sit down and discuss if you might be a candidate for a minimally invasive spinal deformity correction.