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Degenerative scoliosis is the curving of spine caused by the degeneration of the facet joints and the discs. This usually occurs to people over 65 years old.
Facet joint deterioration is similar to the causes of osteoarthritis. However, degenerative scoliosis causes a straight spine to shift. Because of this, the spine curves to just one side.
When scoliosis is discovered after puberty, it is already considered adult scoliosis. Its causes are different from that of scoliosis detected at an earlier age. Scoliosis in adults can be caused by other spinal conditions that affect the vertebrae. For instance, osteoporosis, osteomalacia (bone softening), or bone degenerations, could be the culprits. Adult scoliosis can also appear after a major spinal surgery.
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Degenerative adult scoliosis begins as a back pain. The degeneration occurring in the spine causes the curve to form. Those experiencing the condition could feel numbness, pain, and weakness in the lower back and leg portions of the body. In some cases, patients experience difficulty walking due to the pressure on the spinal nerves.
Surgery is not always the first option to treat adult degenerative scoliosis, but it can be required if the pain is severe or if the patient is experiencing breathing problems. Other treatment options include bracing, physical therapy, and medication for pain management.
Dr. Joseph Yazdi is a neurosurgeon with years of expertise in treating chronic spine conditions like failed back syndrome, scoliosis, and spinal fusion. Learn more about spinal injuries and other related medical issues by visiting this blog.