Scoliosis is a term that is used when a patient's spine is curved. Scoliosis can occur at any age, but most commonly it develops during early adolescence. This is a period of rapid growth when a child’s body starts to grow and becomes more adult.


The most common type of scoliosis is called an idiopathic scoliosis. This means there is no identified cause for its development. We do not know why scoliosis happens in some people and not in others. Some patients have family members with scoliosis. Sometimes there are other problems in the body that may contribute to the spine becoming curved, such as having eccess movement of the joints, which is called being hypermobile.

Scoliosis may be noticed for a variety of reasons. Quite often it is first noticed by family members or teachers at school. It may cause a person to lean to one side or clothes may not fit properly anymore. Often, it affects the shape of the hips and/or the chest, which may be the first noticeable sign. These changes in the chest and the hips occur because the spine doesn’t just curve sideways, it also rotates or twists. When the spine twists it causes the ribs to change shape because they attach to the spine. The change in shape of the ribs is what affects the appearance of the chest and the waist. The hips can also appear uneven due to the twist in the spine.

When you come to the RNOH, you may see a variety of people including doctors, nurses, therapists and radiographers. You will always be referred to one of our spinal surgeons whether you need surgery or not.


measuring-cobb-angle_0.pngThe options for treatment of your scoliosis will either be conservative:

  • Active monitoring (monitor regularly with imaging to see if the curve gets worse)
  • Information class
  • Bracing
  • Physiotherapy

Or surgical:

  • Options for surgery and it will include a period of postoperative rehabilitation.

Spinal Deformity and Injury

  • Mr Hanny Anwar - Specialist with fellowship training in spinal surgery: Acute spinal conditions (disc prolapse, sciatica, arm / neck pain), Spinal tumour surgery...
  • Mr Manish Desai - Management of complex spasticity including use of Botulinum Toxin and ITB. Rehabilitation of spinal injured patients with MSCC/malignant tumors...
  • Dr Jan Gawronski - Chronic pain, spasticity management. Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (Adult).
  • Mr Alexander Gibson - Deformity (scoliosis and kyphosis), fractures, infection, tumours and degenerative disease.
  • Mr Jan Herzog - Paediatric and Adult Spinal Deformity and Injury, Navigation in Spinal Surgery, Degenerative Spinal Pathologies, Spinal Disease in Myeloma.
  • Mr Robert Lee - Complex adult degenerative disease and deformity, minimal access spinal surgery, computer navigated spinal surgery, pars fractures, sacroiliac joint pain, revision surgery
  • Mr Jan Lehovsky - Spinal deformity, scoliosis, spinal injury, spinal tumours and cervical spine.
  • Mr Julian Leong - Spinal Deformity and Spinal Surgery
  • Mr Michael Mokawem - Paediatric spine deformity. Minimally invasive spine surgery. Computer navigated spine surgery. Adult spine deformity. Lumbar spine stenosis...
  • Mr Sean Molloy - Scoliosis and kyphosis on all age groups. He has particular interest in adult degenerative scoliosis. He also sees a large number of patients with...

At the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, our spinal consultants use the British Spine Registry which is a web-based database for acquiring information about spinal surgery and for monitoring surgery outcomes in the UK. This is a vital tool in the treatment that we give to our patients and will immensely impact the future of patient care.


Patient involvement with the British Spine Registry focuses on pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires which provide our consultants with information about the pain, mobility and daily activities of our patients. These answers are compared with those of other patients who have had similar treatment which then enables surgeons to evaluate how effective and successful our surgeries are and where improvements can be made.


The information on the British Spine Registry is managed by the British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS) and all data is kept secure and confidential. Personal details needed by the BSR are: Name, Gender, Date of birth, Address, Email, and NHS Number.


Participation with the British Spine Registry is greatly appreciated by the hospital and the consultants, and NHS England. We thank you for helping us to improve our hospital and the care that we are able to provide.


“RNOH fully embraces the use of the BSR for collecting patient outcomes. It is crucial for the long term follow-up for our patients and also opens up research opportunities. Being able to collect our patients’ outcomes enables the spinal unit to validate the specialist complex spinal surgery that we offer our patients.”

– Mr. Robert Lee, Consultant Spinal Surgeon, British Spine Registry Co-Lead


Further information can be found at:

For enquiries, please contact:

Information Guides for Adults


See the full list of Patient Information Guides.