University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
410-448-2500 or 1-888-453-7626

Programs and Services

Scoliosis and Spine Center



Approach To Care

The Kernan Scoliosis and Spine Center provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of scoliosis, as well as other conditions of the spine. An experienced team of orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists guide patients and their families through diagnosis, education and treatment.

Since no two spine conditions are exactly alike, we make a careful diagnosis before we begin treatment. Our experience, as well as our expertise in the latest procedures and technology, enables us to provide superior care to patients of all ages.

What is Scoliosis?

Everyone's spine has naturally occurring curves. They give the typical rounded shape to shoulders and the inward curve at the lower back. When viewed from behind, a normal spine appears in a straight line and the trunk of the body will look symmetrical. However, when scoliosis occurs, the spine begins to curve visibly from side to side. In more severe cases, this lateral curving of the spine causes it to look like the letter "S" or a long "C."

Scoliosis usually develops in mid to late childhood or early adolescence. Most cases are detected around the age of nine and, commonly, during early puberty. A simple, 30-second postural screening by a physician can make the difference in diagnosing scoliosis in its earliest stage.

There are four basic characteristics physicians consider when screening for scoliosis:

  • One shoulder that is higher than the other
  • One hip that is higher than the other
  • One shoulder blade that is more prominent that the other
  • Rib or waist prominence when bending forward
For more information or to make an appointment, please call the Kernan Scoliosis and Spine Center at 410-448-6780.