Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
Some young children with scoliosis may have abnormally shaped vertebrae in their back that causes the curve. Normal vertebrae are shaped like rectangles. A hemivertebra is shaped like a triangle. (Figure 7). When this hemivertebra is located at the bottom of the spine it can tilt the base of the spine and cause the child lean to one side. In other parts of the spine, depending on the number of hemivertebrae present, severe deformity can develop. Depending on your child's situation, this hemivertebra may be removed from the front, back, or both parts of the spine. Once the hemivertebra is removed the vertebrae above and below it are fused together, often with instrumentation. Most children will wear a brace or cast after the operation until the spine heals. This operation has inherent risks involved, including bleeding and neurologic injury, but good spinal correction is often achieved.
Figure 7 - Hemivertebrae is noted by the bottom of the two arrows.