Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult-onset scoliosis, is a unique and frustrating disease where the spine begins to curve due to age-degeneration of your facet joints and intervertebral discs. While scoliosis is often considered a childhood ailment, the causes and mechanics of adult-onset scoliosis are entirely different.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis
Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

If you suffer from adult degenerative scoliosis, you most likely have an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Often, this disease can feel out of your control, with little you can do to change its seemingly never-ending progression. However, you need to know that you have options and there is hope. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, our world-renowned team of doctors and staff can help you manage, treat, and overcome adult degenerative scoliosis.

An Overview of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Most patients are surprised to learn that there are multiple classifications of scoliosis based on the causes and development of abnormal curvature. The classification we are looking at, adult degenerative scoliosis, is one of the most common forms of scoliosis.

As the name suggests, adult degenerative scoliosis develops during adulthood due to degenerative changes in your musculoskeletal system, as well as any of the following:

  • Childhood scoliosis that has gone untreated
  • Inherent changes that occur in the body because of age
  • Other spinal diseases

Typically, adult degenerative scoliosis develops in your lower back or lumbar spine. While specific degenerative changes to the vertebrae of your spine are common, especially as you get older, adult degenerative scoliosis occurs when the spine begins to curve side-to-side. The progression of the abnormal curvature is typically incremental, occurring a little each year and usually affecting adults 40 years of age or older.

Because many cases of adult degenerative scoliosis don’t show severe symptoms or cause extensive pain, it can be challenging to determine just how prevalent it is. Still, research estimates that nearly 6 million people experience some form of adult degenerative scoliosis.

Symptoms of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Again, it can be challenging to detect adult degenerative scoliosis based on symptoms alone because many symptoms are similar to other ailments, such as lumbar osteoarthritis and lumbar degenerative disc disease. However, a careful examination from our doctors can help diagnose adult degenerative scoliosis, especially if the following symptoms present themselves:

  • Aching or stiffness in the mid to lower back
  • Electric, shooting back pain that can radiate down the buttock and into the leg
  • Abnormal sensations, such as tingling and numbness, can radiate down the buttock and into the leg
  • Acute leg pain that develops while walking but subsides with rest

As soon as you begin experiencing any of these symptoms, you should reach out to our experienced team at OLSS so that we can thoroughly examine your condition and begin to develop a treatment plan for you.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Treatments

Once our team correctly diagnoses adult degenerative scoliosis, our treatment plan’s primary goal is to reduce pain and maintain any accompanying neurologic symptoms. It’s important to understand that our treatment does not focus on correcting the curvature of the spine, as it is mainly cosmetic and not the actual cause of pain.

Still, when you seek treatment at OLSS, we split our treatment approach into two prongs: conservative and surgical.

Conservative (Non-surgical) Treatment

The excellent news about adult degenerative scoliosis is that many of our clients report an improvement in symptoms through a conservative, non-surgical approach to treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, our doctors will typically prescribe physical therapy to build strength and relieve pain. Physical therapy will also provide the following treatments:

  • Improving posture
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises
  • Daily stretching
  • At-home exercises to stay active

If physical therapy is unsuccessful in reducing your pain, our doctors may further prescribe epidural or nerve block injections to help relieve pain.

Surgical Treatment

If our doctors recommend surgery as the next step for treating your adult degenerative scoliosis, OLSS has world-class facilities and techniques in spinal surgery. Still, as with any surgery, there could be potential complications. Even with the risk, the goal of surgery to treat your adult degenerative scoliosis is focused on the following:

  • Relieving the back and leg pain associated with the scoliosis
  • Improving and fixing the spinal imbalance that scoliosis is causing
  • Improving the quality of life
  • Using our minimally invasive techniques to reduce complications and ease of care

While under our care at OLSS, rest assured that you are working with top-rated doctors in spinal surgery. In fact, through our advances in medical technology and world-renowned medical facilities and equipment, our minimally invasive surgeries increase the chances of success and recovery time.

Full-Service Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Care

Dealing with adult degenerative scoliosis is complicated enough on its own. So when you need help, look no further than Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our uncompromising dedication to providing comprehensive care and customized treatment plans for each patient keeps us at the forefront of orthopedic care in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. If you want to schedule a free consultation, call our offices at (866)-646-5090 or complete this contact form.