Hear the term scoliosis and it likely brings up memories of annual spine checks in the nurse’s office in elementary school. Maybe you even remember a friend or classmate who had to wear a brace to help manage the condition.
But did you know that scoliosis is not just a childhood disorder? Here at Kalra Brain & Spine, we see quite a few patients with adult degenerative scoliosis. Some know they have it when they get to us and others are diagnosed here.
Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine often noted to create the shape of a “c” or an “s” due to the spine twisting. Scoliosis occurs in both adults and children. Symptoms vary depending on age and the severity of the scoliosis curve.
Adult degenerative scoliosis is a direct result of progressive degeneration of structural elements in the spine leading to spinal column malalignment. A recent study with a group of elderly volunteers showed that more than 60 percent of participants were dealing with this to a degree. That’s a lot of people suffering. We want to help.
With an aging population and increased attention to quality of life, degenerative scoliosis has become a considerable health care concern, not only cosmetically, but also as a cause of significant pain and disability.
—Dr. Ricky Kalra
Symptoms of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis
Common symptoms associated with more severe cases of adult degenerative scoliosis include:
- Back pain
- Nerve pain causing pain or weakness in the legs or feet
- Height loss
- Uneven alignment of the hips and pelvis
Advances Bring More Options, More Hope
In the past, most scoliosis treatments targeted childhood and adolescent cases but this is no longer the only focus. With advances in the field in both technique and instrumentation, we have made significant strides in the management of spinal deformity in adults with degenerative scoliosis.
At Kalra Brain & Spine, surgery is always only considered as a last resort when other treatment modalities have failed to bring enough relief. The same is true when dealing with this condition. Depending on several factors, including age, severity of symptoms, activity level, disability, other medical conditions and more, different courses of treatment may be recommended.
Non-operative treatment options include watchful surveillance and physical therapy as well as injections and blocks. Surgical intervention can include decompression and anterior, posterior or combined fusion. Not all patients are good candidates for surgical intervention and the first step in determining which course of treatment is right for you is a comprehensive evaluation by Dr. Kalra.
Regardless of which course of treatment is adopted, our goal is always the same; reduction of pain, restoration of mobility and improved quality of life.
Think you or someone you love might be suffering from adult degenerative scoliosis? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kalra today.