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Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Understanding Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis, also known as degenerative scoliosis and adult-onset scoliosis, is one of the many conditions of the spine that we treat at Key Clinics.  This form of scoliosis develops in people after age 18 who do not have a prior history of curvature of the spine. On the other hand, adolescent scoliosis affects children and teens, often from birth.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

With age, the spinal vertebral column deteriorates and can lead to adult degenerative scoliosis with debilitating neck and/or back pain.  The most common causes of degenerative scoliosis include:

  • Compression fractures
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis

Symptoms and secondary health issues that can arise from a spinal curvature:

  • Severe pain
  • Stiffness, rigidity, and instability
  • Nerve damage
  • Trouble standing or sitting
  • Imbalance and difficulty walking
  • Prominent and painful ribs
  • “Humpback” with difficulty standing straight
  • Heart and lung problems

Making a Correct Diagnosis

Dr. Siegal and the team at Key Clinics must determine the cause of the adult degenerative scoliosis and develop the appropriate treatment plan.

During the first visit with Dr. Siegal, he will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination to check for pain location and severity, poor or lost reflexes, imbalance, range of motion, sensation, strength and other signs of neurological impairment.  Dr. Siegal can even tell a lot simply by having a patient bend forward to reveal the curvature outline.

Dr. Siegal typically will order X-rays, an MRI and a CT scan, all of which will be reviewed with him at the follow-up appointment.

Treatment Options

After thorough testing and a confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Siegal will create a safe and effective treatment plan, trying conservative nonoperative modalities first.  Physical therapy, pain management injections, medications and bracing may be enough to offer substantial relief, help strengthen musculature and improve posture.

Conservative treatments can be ineffective for some patients. In these cases, if a patient can handle an extensive procedure, surgery can be considered if the curve is greater than 45 degrees.

Get the Relief You Need

If you live with pain caused by adult degenerative scoliosis, get the relief you need by contacting Key Clinics. With advanced medical and surgical treatments under the skillful hands of Dr. Siegal, you can take back control of your health and quality of life today. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.