Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis is a condition where a right-left or lateral curve develops in a previously straight spine secondary to advanced degenerative disc disease.

Information You Need

Causes and Symptoms of Adult
Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis can cause back and/or leg pain due to muscle fatigue and nerve impingement and may lead to a condition known as lumbar (lower back) stenosis. Adult degenerative scoliosis is more common in the lower back and most frequently occurs in people over 65 years of age.

Pain in the back and/or legs

Pain may occur on one or both sides

Pain that worsens when standing or walking

Spinal deformity

Lying down relieves pressure on the spine and reduces pain

Non-Surgical Treatments

If adult degenerative scoliosis is established as a diagnosis, your physician may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
  • Medications and analgesics to reduce pain and swelling. Typical medications may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Injections (e.g., corticosteroids) of anti-inflammatory and/or numbing agents directly into the affected area to help reduce the pain and swelling
  • Rest and a restriction of physical activity
  • A back brace to help control pain, though it will not correct the deformity

Surgical Procedures

If symptoms do not improve with other methods, your physician may suggest spinal surgery. Surgical solutions for advanced degenerative disc disease with resultant scoliosis may include:

  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
  • Maximum Access Surgery (MAS®) PLIF
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • MAS TLIF
  • eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®)

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