View Full Version : Scoliosis and Pregnancy?

10-01-2004, 11:25 AM
Can anyone tell me what effects pregnancy has on scoli? I want to have children in the next year or so and have so many questions. First - and most important - will I pass this to my children? Second - will pregnancy increase curve? I have heard from a chiropracter that during pregnancy - hormones levels allow the spine to be manipulated easier. Any truth to this?

10-01-2004, 11:48 AM
Hi Danelle...

All the research shows that scoliosis curves generally do not increase during pregnancy. There is anecdotal evidence, however, that SOME women's curves do increase.

You MIGHT pass your scoliosis on to your offspring. At this time, no one knows what percentage of people with scoliosis pass it along. I have scoliosis, but my daughter does not. This is purely anecdotal, but I would guess that if you have scoliosis, AND have a parent with scoliosis, you're probably more likely to pass it on to your offspring.

SOME women do experience joint laxity during pregnancy.


11-01-2004, 12:43 PM
Has anyone gone throught pregnancy while having pain in the lower back. How did you deal with it?

11-01-2004, 01:30 PM
I am 53. Never had surgery. Never had a brace. My curves are 150,88, and 50. I have a twenty seven year old daughter that I carried full term. It wasn't easy and I pretty much did it without drugs. I was very motivated and I spent a lot of time in a warm bath or under a hot shower, then I moved to the sofa where I would lie down on my back and put my legs up on the sofa back. It was the only way I could releive back pain. I also did a lot of calm talking to myself. When my husband was home I would have him give me back rubs. It worked for me.

11-01-2004, 02:17 PM
My husband and I had just started trying for our second child a week before me finding out that I have scoliosis. We have for now stopped trying until we find out more on what they planned to do. With you having gone through this with pregnancy already would you do it again? We are very excited about another child but I am scared of the pain for nine months.

11-08-2004, 12:32 PM
with fused curves of 110/60 degrees I have two children aged 7 and 5.I had no hesitation in having my second child despite some intermittemt problems.perhaps my pain was very minor when compared to yours but pregnancy related back pain is common whether or not you have scoliosis.It depends on how badly you want another child and how much you're willing to cope with.
I always found a recliner very helpful and staying off my feet for the last few weeks was essential.I always suffered from neck pain as opposed to lower back pain and due to an increase in fluid within the joints I had absolutely no neck pain.It can go either way and it's impossible to predict who will have trouble and who won't.
Scoliosis is hereditary to some degree, especially the adolescent idiopathic type.Neither of my children have it as yet but Even if it is passed on it may be a non progressive mild curve.
Good luck with your decision.

Oh I almost forgot to add one thing.Could you ask your obs/gyn for a referral to an obstetric physiotherapist? Most large maternity hospitals have them in ireland and perhaps some suitable exercises would help during the pregnancy.I had one appointment during my first pregnancy and I found it very helpful

11-15-2004, 04:07 PM
I have scoliosis and have had 2 kids. I had absolutely no problem carrying either one to full term and I had no back pain. The chances are about 50/50 that my kids (one boy/one girl) could develop scoliosis. I honestly never thought twice about having a baby even with scoliosis. I did think that I would have more problems than a normal pregnant women, but that was not the case.


11-16-2004, 03:34 PM
We have decided to continue to try for a second baby despite to scoliosis. We are currently in the 2nd month of trying. No word yet if there is a bun inthe oven as they say but will find out tomorrow. Cross your finger and I will keep you all updated. Thank you for the advice and helping us decide to go ahead and try again. :D :D

01-30-2005, 07:52 PM
Hi everyone,
It has been a while since I have posted. I have been seeing an acupuncturist and it has been a life changing experience "I can walk". I am taking classes again but still disabled. I am in yoga and that has made a difference also. I wanted to comment on pregnancy. I have 4 children, and with the first I had hard labor for 36 hours, including back labor. My third child, my back herniated(no way to tell at the moment because due to being pregnant no x-rays were allowed, but my forth child was born 3 weeks early as I could hardly walk the whole time. Nobody knew what was wrong with me at the time. Now I know. I would say that the last two pregnancies had alot to do with the severity of my condition now. In 1995 my back was o.k. By 1998, after the last two pregnancies, they said I had the back of an 80 year old woman, and I felt like it also. I also went through a stressful divorce and have no help from my ex-husband or his family. My children are 16 months a part and carrying them and their diaper bags upstairs from work everyday did me in. If I had a loving and stable marriage where I knew nothing could go wrong, it would have made a difference, but doing everything on your own and putting your needs last can have devastating effects on your back. I also developed a hormone deficient problem and the doctors say It could have been because of the scoliosis, and that it contributed to the degeneration process in my spine. I would say that being in excellent shape and making sure your hormones are o.k. and you have help in case your back goes out is the safest thing for you and your baby.

Erica M
02-01-2005, 02:32 PM
Hi -- I have a couple of comments: (1) I experienced SEVERE joint laxity during the last week of my first pregnancy (I have two daughters, now aged 8 and 6), to the point where i couldn't walk. It took about 6 weeks for my sacroiliac joint to close up again and feel normal. (2) If you are planning on having an epidural, I would recommend meeting with the anesthesiologist (with an Xray of your spine) in advance of your delivery date. The person who administered my epidural with my first child had no difficulty getting it in and it took immediately. However, with my second child, the anesthesiologist (who obviously didn't know what he was doing) attemped SEVEN TIMES to get the needle into my back and kept muttering about how "severe" my curve was and how he couldn't get the needle in. For the record, my curves are 24 (T) and 30 (L). Not severe. It took MONTHS to recover from the painful aftereffects of his incompetence! So I would definitely meet with whoever will be administering the anesthesia and do it well ahead of time, since you never know. Good luck.

02-07-2005, 06:15 PM
My son Daniel is now 12 years old. While I had some pregnancy complications, none of them were due to the scoliosis. He is a happy, healthy boy. He just told me they tested for scoliosis at school last week, as I'm a bit fanatical about that for him. He has a gloriously straight spine! My chiropractor never mentioned any problems that would come up, other than me possibly being more tired than usual. I loved being pregnant and am actually trying again even though I know have cervical bone spurs and minimal arthritic changes. Enjoy your pregnancy and don't worry. It can be passed genetically, but this does not mean that it will.

04-20-2005, 07:05 PM

I am new to this site and I am looking for some advice (hopefully to calm me down). I am 23 years old and 6 months pregnant. I was diagnosed with an S shape curve in 1991 and ended up having a spinal fusion in 1993. My doctors don't seem to have much experience with patients delivering with the Herrington Rod and haven't been real helpful. I am wondering if anyone knows if it is safe to get an epidural, how is the back or rod effected, etc. I would love to hear from anyone with advice. Thanks!!

04-20-2005, 07:30 PM

I believe that one's ability to get an epidural depends on which vertebrae are fused, and possibly whether you're in a more skilled facility. Most anesthesiologists simply tell patients with prior fusions that they cannot receive an epidural, but the truth is that it's possible for some people.


Jacque's Mom
04-21-2005, 10:42 AM
Hi GreenRiley, I have a Harrington Rod since 1981 and gave birth in 1986. I was told at that time that the only epidural I could have was a "Pudendal Block" for delivery, because of the rod (I put info I had below that explains further). It doesn't go by the spinal canal as an Epidural does. I didn't have to have one with my delivery. I also have heard, as Linda mentioned, that it is possible to have an epidural. Check with your doctor to make sure and also make sure YOU tell the anesthesiologist that you have a rod in your back. I must have told mine several times and with any surgery I had, I made sure, as well as my husband did, that everyone knew there was hardware in my back. You can never be too safe. You will be fine, just focus on your breathing and you'll do great. Good luck with your baby! LYNN
Pudendal Block - a type of local anesthesia that is injected into the vaginal area (affecting the pudendal nerve) causing complete numbness in the vaginal area without affecting the contractions of the uterus. The woman can remain active in pushing the baby through the birth canal. It is used for vaginal deliveries.

05-16-2005, 05:24 PM
Hello! I hope you're having a great day.
I'm pregnant with the first child of my husband and I. I don't have a clue what my curvature numbers are. I experience lower back pain and sometimes neck pain (though that's probably because I don't look straight ahead often enough; I use a laptop and I'm a bookworm). DH and I are unemployed; please pray that DH will get hired really soon. I'm on insurance through the state of Kansas.
As of yesterday, I'm supposed to stay off my feet, drink more and eat more. (I'm a skinny girl; last Thursday I only weighed 125! I seem to be losing weight and I'm eating a lot as it is) I miss exercising; even doing the dishes would be nice. I'm trying my hardest to stay in a good mood because DH is taking good care of me and if I start complaining and getting grumpy it'll be hard for both of us. God bless you all!

my Mother my Confidence,

05-21-2005, 03:29 AM
I certainly hope your chiropractor doesn't manipulate your spine. If you allow this you are only asking for trouble as they can't possibly know what damage they are going to do. My chiropractor will not touch my spine only does massage. Pregnacy shouldn't cause any trouble it didn't for me.

06-02-2005, 12:02 PM
I had scoliosis that was never treated (not diagnosed until I was 19) and had two babies with no back problems. I had a c-section for other reasons with the first baby, a 9 lb, 12 oz. boy, and a VBAC (natural delivery) of my second child, a 10 lb, 2 oz. girl. And I'm not a huge person, thank you!

My best friend was casted for two years for her scoliosis, but has no back problems now, and her son was over 11 pounds at birth.

I also have a niece who wore a Boston Brace. She's got a heathy 4 year old and a second baby due any day now.

So, it can be done, even with pretty darn big babies. Good luck to all of you!


07-12-2005, 02:10 PM
hello...i had surgery in 1974...with harrington rod...had two children..one in 1982..one in 1985...never felt better in my life...no complications...no pain...both natural...no epidurals..no anything....neither have scoliosis...hold onto a good thought....breath...and just keep asking good questions...peace..mag

07-12-2005, 04:35 PM
Chiropractic actually made my pregnancy much easier. I wore a Boston brace as a kid for nine years (age 6 to 15). Have more back pain now as I get older. With all of the loosening of ligaments, etc. in pregnancy, my sacrum was constantly messed up and my hips hurt a lot. Towards the end of my pregnancy, when my daughter put more pressure on my sacrum, I had my sacrum adjusted a few times a week. My chiropractor was careful and skilled and nothing hurt the baby. In fact, I took her to him when she was 6 days old for an adjustment (she came out with her hand on her head and I believe it contributed to her not wanting to nurse on my left side).

I also had my daughter with no medication and limited pain. I had NO back labor or extra back pain (even less than my non-scoliosis friends). I did yoga through the pregnancy, pelvic-rocking every night toward the end, and "hands and knees" position (to encourage the baby to lie in the most optimal position) for 15 minutes a day as well.

Good luck!

Dutch girl
07-14-2005, 03:50 AM
Hello Danelle. I never had surgery and have a severe Kyphosis scoliosis.
My internist advised me not to have children because he said as the baby
grew there would be less and less room for my lungs. I would have more trouble breathing and, more important, the baby might not get enough oxygen. My husband and I therefore opted not to have children. But this was MY case. You should have a good talk with your doctor, an internist and/or a pulmonary specialist. Good luck.

07-19-2005, 02:38 PM
dutch girl: what is your curve measured at?

I'm considering having a child, but have a 60+ degree kyphosis that is impacting my lungs slightly. I'm going to discuss it with the Dr. tomorrow....but as he is rather conservative I'd like some 2nd opinions.

07-04-2006, 08:25 AM
When I was pregnant my back pain got so bad I almost couldn't walk, I just shuffled from foot to foot half-blind with pain. Orthopedicsurgeon no. 1 said "No, it isn't your scoliosis, it's a slipped disc" and ordered an MRI (fortunately covered by my HMO). I handed the results to Orthopedic surgeon no. 2. who upon looking at the films, burst out laughing and said, "No you don't have slipped disc, it's a simple case of sciatica!" No. 2 was right, and the pain was relieved by a strategically placed pillow (under my knees) when I slept. LOL. I did have difficulties "pushing" during labor, though (very weak back muscles didn;t help at all) and ended up having a C-section.

12-20-2006, 01:08 PM
Hello, I am new at this site, but am so grateful that I have found it for the info I have found has been really helpful..
My concern is; I am 25 years old, was born with scoliosis, had a rod implanted at the age of 12/13, and now I am 6 months pregnant with my first child. I cant wait until the baby is born in March, but I am frightened as ever. I am in western Michigan, and am going to a local hospital/ ob for everything with my pregnancy ( no specialists as of yet at least ). But they are telling me I will need a c-section due to my narrow hips/ pelvis ( which, yes, scares the poop out of me, but I can deal with ), and now they are telling me I will need general anesthetics for the c-section ( which I figured, no epidural ). But what scares me even more is that because of the severity of my scoliosis, my neck tends to be a little "kinked" I guess you could call it. So when I went to talk to the anestheologist (sp?) he was concerned about the breathing tube they would have to put down my throat for the c-section. He will have to insert breathing tube while I am awake, with little or no pain killers ( for harm to baby ), and then continue on with procedure. I am so scared, I cry almost everyday because I start thinking about all the risks involved to not only me but my baby. I want to talk to someone who understands, but of course, unless you have been there, and had scoliosis and a rod with pregnancy, no one really can. I try to talk to my husband, but I think it scares him too, because he sees how scared I am, and I can tell he doesnt like to talk about it. When I talk to "others" about it, they just tell me I am worrying too much, and everything will be O.K. Which is of course what I want to believe, but unless I can talk to someone who understands because they have been through it, I dont know how much better I can feel.
Please help me, I am scared!!!

12-20-2006, 03:16 PM
I'm 31, and seven weeks post-op. We want to have a baby, and I've been told that I could carry one, but that it may get tough towards the end, with bed rest required. I'm okay with that, if it means we can have a child. In fact, I'm waiting until I'm one year post op however, so that my new fusion can heal, and I can get into shape. I've been told that I can opt for an elective C-section with general anesthetic, since I can't have an epidural (fused to L5 with rods, and screws). I am scared though about the back swaying to support the fetus. It was advised not to get pregnant before the last surgery, because of complications I was having from the stenosis. As for my child getting scoliosis, it doesn't seem to be cut and dry over the genetics of it - a cousin has it, as does my sister, but no one else. Too, the severity of the curves vary greatly, and my child may have no where near the severity of mine. If they do, I will ensure that they get the best care possible, and I would know to monitor their back regularly.
My sister's scoliosis is in the 30's, and it bothered her when she was pregnant, but she also had a standing job as well. It's a very individual thing how it affects people. For those of you who've had large fusions with instrumentation, how did pregnancy affect you?

Jacque's Mom
12-20-2006, 03:50 PM
I had my daughter 20 years ago with the Harrington Rod. My curve was mid 60's prior to surgery. I had absolutely no problem carrying or delivery. I had her natural and was a very easy delivery. Good luck to you. LYNN

12-21-2006, 11:58 PM
My curve was basically non-existent 3% prior to my (2) pregnancies. After my 2 children were born (within 2 years of one another), my curve was up to 28%.


My doctor has said that if my gen practitioner would have suggested back strengthening exercises, my curve would not have progressed so dramatically. Now I cannot reverse the damage. :( I also want to try to have anther child. HOWEVER, I am doing yoga and doing physical therapy daily to strengthen my back. I learned things the hard way and I am determined to reduce the progression of my scoliosis.

Alo, I suffered fro inense sciaic pain the last 3 months with my 2nd child.

Good luck!

12-29-2006, 01:55 AM
I agree that pregnancy can increase your curves. My doctor in the early 1960s was one of the developers of the brace & I was one of the test patients. I was always advise that if I got pregnant, I would need a majority of bed rest to carry the child & not have increased curvature....that it would be best not to caryy a child at all if I wanted to take care of a child & not be in a wheelchair. Also advised to exercise like I was "training for the Olympics" for the rest of my life to aviod curve increase. Flexibility is especially important....touch your toes & bend from side to side as much as possible every day. YOGA is esp. valuable & I have practiced for over 30 yrs. with still no surgery (curves 49u/39l). Every person is different of course. Take your chance & live with the results w/o regret. God bless.

01-07-2007, 10:38 PM
My curve was basically non-existent 3% prior to my (2) pregnancies. After my 2 children were born (within 2 years of one another), my curve was up to 28%.


My doctor has said that if my gen practitioner would have suggested back strengthening exercises, my curve would not have progressed so dramatically. Now I cannot reverse the damage. :( I also want to try to have anther child. HOWEVER, I am doing yoga and doing physical therapy daily to strengthen my back. I learned things the hard way and I am determined to reduce the progression of my scoliosis.

Alo, I suffered fro inense sciaic pain the last 3 months with my 2nd child.

Good luck!

I agree with SUNSHINEMOMMY24 regarding pregnancy and scoliosis progression. My curve was basically non-existent as well prior to my two pregnancies which were two years apart. The curve size had to be small since my back always looked straight and I had uneven shoulders but was barely norticeable....

I now have back pain almost everyday. I was scheduled to have surgery late 2006 but decided to wait a few more years till the kids got a little older. They are now four and two years old.

I hate to say it but I think that scolisis does progress with pregnancy. It did in my case and I am pretty sure it worsened after the pregnancies.

07-22-2007, 02:35 PM
I ended up going into my pg at around a 95+ degree kyphosis

Dutch - I was advised the same and yet I now have a 10mo DD and had very little lung problems all through my pregnancy. I actually straightened up my curves quite a bit while pg - it was lovely! I did find that DD was breech quite a bit though.

I had no difficulties in labor either - DD was born start to finish in about 9 hours. I had no issues pushing other than a modification as to holding my legs - I could not curve that far without causing back pain. They ended up putting handles up where I could grab and push, and they held the legs. I had no epidural.

I am now in a wheelchair much of the time due to severe increase in the curves about 6mo after birth.

Given the choice - I'd do it all over again.

I think if I could have been braced right after birth when it was more flexable and straight, I could have avoided a lot if the issues I have now.

02-11-2015, 06:25 AM
Hi all

I am 23 weeks pregnant and when I had my spine operated on when I was 21 I was told I would have to have a caesarian. Last week I went to see my Obstetrician and he didn't agree. Now I am petrified because I don't think that the Obstetrician is looking at the bigger picture of the rest of my life. Sure Caesarian carries risks but a planned one is far less risky than an emergency especially due to anaesthetic issues. The Obstetrician said " I wouldn't tell your spinal consultant how to fuse a spine so I don't expect him to tell me how to deliver a baby". I think he is just being a bit obstenant and not considering the effects of birth on my spine and pelvis for the rest of my life.

Because I have thought all these years I would have to have a caesarian I am now petrified at the prospect of being made to have a normal birth. To be quite honest, I don't think I would have considered having a baby if I didn't think that was going to be the case. Its all i am thinking about now and I am so terrified, I'm not enjoying any aspect of the pregnancy now and I have this enormous feeling of dread. The hospital that I am a patient of doesn't support elective caesarians. What can I do?

Very scared

02-11-2015, 06:42 AM
Congratulations on your baby!

Can you get a second opinion? Find out if there is any medical reason to have a Cesarean just because you have a fused back. There might not be.

Can you go back to the spine surgeon and ask why he said that? It might just be an ignorant comment. Spine surgeons are not obstetricians. I listen to Doctor Radio a lot and I can tell you these guys back down pretty quickly when something comes up outside their field. I am thinking your spine surgeon should have done that unless he has data which I doubt given what your obstetrician said.

Or go to another spine surgeon and get some stats on the outcomes of natural birth with fusion and without.

The facts will put you at ease either way.

02-11-2015, 08:10 AM
Yes, congratulations on your baby! It's so easy to get caught up in a disagreement between your two doctors' views and worry about your health. Over the years there have been a number of women on the forum who have had babies both ways... some who had vaginal deliveries did so naturally, and some had epidurals or other "helps". I tried to pull up a couple of old threads but you could probably do a search and find more.


Whatever way you go, you will end up with a precious baby, and that is what matters. In the meantime, relax and enjoy your pregnancy! It gets so busy once the baby is on the outside!!!

I just remembered there was one who was a little embarrassed (and a bit scared) because she ended up pregnant at just 5 months post-op... all was fine. (smile) And I'm pretty sure she had a vaginal birth.

Also-- do whatever makes YOU feel the most secure and comfortable. It's your life!