Failure to Diagnose Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a medical condition where a person's spine is curved from side-to-side, usually in an "S" or "C" shape.  The sideways curvature of the spine occurs most often during a child's growth spurt immediately before puberty.  It is twice as common in girls.  While common in children, it often goes undiagnosed due to medical malpractice.

There are three types of scoliosis: functional, neuromuscular and idiopathic.  Functional scoliosis is the result of an abnormality elsewhere in the body, such as a leg length discrepancy.  Neuromuscular scoliosis is the result of abnormal developement of bones within the spine.  The cause of idiopathic scoliosis is unknown.

Symptoms of scoliosis may include:
  • curved spine;
  • back pain;
  • uneven hips;
  • uneven shoulders;
  • off-center head;
  • shortness of breath; and
  • chest pain.
Scoliosis can be mild, moderate or severe.  Mild is usually treated conservatively, through monitoring.  Moderate scoliosis is usually treated by placing a child in a brace.  Severe scoliosis is treated by surgery.

Scoliosis is usually diagnosed early in the disease process, when a child bends to touch his or her toes during a physical examination.  While bent, the physician should palpate the spine to determine whether it is straight or curved and, if curved, by how many degrees.  X-rays are also used to image the spine.  Treatment then begins to prevent progression of the disease.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice cases arising out of a failure to diagnose scoliosis.  If your child was diagnose with scoliosis, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at