Scoliosis can make its first appearance in adults due to age-related spinal degeneration, and then for about 40% of them, the condition continues to get progressively worse. Ripul Panchal, DO, at American Neurospine Institute, PLLC begins your treatment with conservative options. But when you have severe spinal curvature or intense pain, Dr. Panchal’s expertise in spinal surgery gives you the option of effective surgical realignment to restore your spine’s normal shape. If you have pain due to adult scoliosis, call the office in Plano, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Scoliosis Q & A
What is scoliosis?
When viewed from the side, your spine has natural curves. But looking at it from behind, the spine should form a straight line from your neck to your lower back.
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature; instead of a straight line, it forms an S- or C-shaped curve. In severe cases of scoliosis, your spine may also rotate or twist.
What causes adult scoliosis?
Adults may have scoliosis that developed when they were younger and still remains. However, it also develops during adulthood when a previously healthy spine turns into a degenerative spine due to age-related deterioration. Degenerative scoliosis typically affects the lower back, where it’s often accompanied by spinal stenosis.
What symptoms develop due to adult scoliosis?
The symptoms of adult scoliosis develop gradually, and they’re often first noticed when you’re active. Low back pain occurs when a nerve is compressed. You may also have limited movement or develop numbness, tingling, and pain that travels down your legs. Many patients feel fatigued due to the strain on their muscles.
Having a spinal curvature affects your balance. As a result, you’ll adjust the way you walk and stand. For example, you may bend your hips and knees more to maintain an upright posture.
How do you treat adult scoliosis?
Following a thorough examination, you’ll have a standing X-ray to determine the extent of the curvature. If you have severe pain, leg pain, signs of neurological problems, or an unusual curve pattern, you may also need an MRI to evaluate the soft tissues.
In some cases, the team at American Neurospine Institute may monitor your spine to see if the curvature gets worse, and if so, its rate of progression. While you’re being monitored, you may also need physical therapy or pain relief such as an epidural steroid injection.
Dr. Panchal may recommend minimally invasive surgery when conservative measures fail to help, your curvature progresses, you have disabling pain, or your activity is severely restricted. Surgery can realign your spine, restore spinal balance and significantly relieve your pain by decompressing spinal nerves.
Different types of surgeries are used to correct scoliosis. You may have spinal reduction or spinal reconstruction surgery to restore natural alignment. When you face a decision about surgery, Dr. Panchal devotes the time needed to fully explain each option so you can make the best decision.
If you develop back pain and stiffness, call American Neurospine Institute or schedule an appointment online.