Spinal Deformity in Hollywood & Miami FL

Spinal Deformity

Serving the South Florida area with locations in Hollywood and Miami, FL

Dr. Andreas C. Tomac, MD, PhD, FAANS is a distinguished neurosurgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating Spinal Deformity.

What is Spinal Deformity?

Spinal deformity refers to abnormal curvature or misalignment of the spine, often involving deviations from the spine’s natural curves. The spine normally has three natural curves—cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back)—that work together to maintain balance, support the body, and allow for flexibility. Spinal deformities can manifest as abnormal curvatures in any of these regions and may include conditions such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis.

Types of Spinal Deformities:

  • Scoliosis: Sideways curvature of the spine, often forming an “S” or “C” shape.
  • Kyphosis: Excessive forward curvature of the spine, leading to a rounded or hunched back.
  • Lordosis: Excessive inward curvature of the lower spine, creating a pronounced arch in the lower back.

Spinal deformities can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life. Congenital factors, neuromuscular conditions, injuries, degenerative changes, or certain diseases can contribute to the development of spinal deformities.

Who can Spinal Deformities affect?

Spinal deformities can affect individuals across various age groups and backgrounds, and they are not limited to a specific demographic. Both congenital factors and acquired conditions contribute to the development of spinal deformities. Congenital spinal deformities may be present at birth, while acquired deformities can arise later in life due to factors such as injuries, neuromuscular conditions, degenerative changes, or diseases affecting the spine. Adolescents, particularly during periods of rapid growth, may be susceptible to conditions like scoliosis. However, spinal deformities can also affect adults, especially as they age and experience degenerative changes in the spine. The impact of spinal deformities varies, ranging from mild cosmetic concerns to severe pain and functional limitations. Individuals experiencing symptoms or concerned about the appearance of their spine should seek evaluation by specialists, including orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons, to determine the nature of the deformity and explore appropriate management options. Early intervention is crucial for addressing spinal deformities and preventing potential complications.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of spinal deformities can vary based on the type and severity of the deformity. Common symptoms may include:

  • Pain: Individuals with spinal deformities may experience pain, which can be localized to the affected area or radiate to other parts of the spine.
  • Changes in Posture: Visible changes in posture are often noticeable, such as an abnormal curvature of the spine. This can include sideways curvature (scoliosis), excessive forward curvature (kyphosis), or excessive inward curvature of the lower spine (lordosis).
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the spine or difficulty moving may occur, particularly as the deformity progresses.
  • Muscle Imbalance: Spinal deformities can lead to muscle imbalances, affecting the muscles that support the spine and leading to discomfort or weakness.
  • Breathing Difficulties: In severe cases, certain spinal deformities, such as severe kyphosis, may impact lung function and cause breathing difficulties.
  • Changes in Gait: Individuals with spinal deformities may experience changes in their walking pattern or gait.
  • Cosmetic Concerns: Spinal deformities can have a noticeable impact on the appearance of the back, leading to cosmetic concerns.

It’s important to note that the symptoms can vary widely, and some individuals with spinal deformities may not experience significant discomfort. However, when symptoms are present and affecting an individual’s quality of life, seeking evaluation by healthcare professionals, including orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons, is essential. A comprehensive assessment can help determine the underlying cause of the deformity and guide appropriate management strategies.

Treating Spinal Deformities

Spinal Deformity in Hollywood & Miami FL

How are Spinal Deformities diagnosed?

Diagnosing spinal deformities involves a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional, and a neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac may play a crucial role in the diagnostic process. Dr. Tomac typically begins by obtaining a detailed medical history, exploring symptoms, and assessing any factors contributing to the development of the spinal deformity. A comprehensive physical examination is conducted to evaluate posture, range of motion, and any visible abnormalities. Imaging studies, such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Computed Tomography (CT) scans, are commonly employed to visualize the spine in detail and assess the nature and extent of the deformity. Dr. Tomac’s expertise in neurosurgery allows for a precise analysis of imaging results, aiding in the accurate diagnosis of the spinal deformity. The collaboration between the patient and Dr. Tomac is crucial in developing an individualized treatment plan tailored to address the specific characteristics of the deformity and improve overall spinal alignment. Seeking timely medical attention is essential for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management of spinal deformities.


Spinal Deformity in Hollywood & Miami FL

What treatments are available?

The treatment of spinal deformities depends on the type and severity of the deformity. A neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac can provide expertise in both non-surgical and surgical interventions. Common treatment approaches include:

Conservative Treatments:

  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to improve posture, strengthen supporting muscles, and enhance flexibility.
  • Bracing: In cases of scoliosis or kyphosis, bracing may be recommended to prevent further progression, especially in adolescents with growing spines.
  • Pain Management: Medications to manage pain and inflammation.

Surgical Interventions:

  • Spinal Fusion: Surgical procedure to fuse vertebrae together, stabilizing the spine and correcting the deformity.
  • Osteotomy: Surgical procedure to cut and reshape bones to improve alignment.
  • Instrumentation: The use of rods, screws, or other instruments to support and maintain the corrected spinal alignment.

Dr. Tomac can assess the specific case, discuss treatment options, and recommend the most appropriate course of action based on the type and severity of the spinal deformity. Surgical intervention is often considered for more severe or progressive deformities that do not respond to conservative measures.

The decision on the most suitable treatment plan is made collaboratively between the patient and Dr. Tomac, considering the individual’s unique circumstances and goals. Regular follow-up and postoperative care are essential to monitor progress and address any concerns. Seeking timely medical attention allows for a comprehensive evaluation and the development of an individualized treatment strategy for spinal deformities.