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Scoliosis treatment options explained by Laser Spine Institute’s Philadelphia-based orthopedic experts

If you’ve received a degenerative scoliosis diagnosis, it may help to take the time to learn about this condition, its causes and the diagnosis process. While you may not experience painful symptoms, there are a variety of treatment options available if you do.

Understanding scoliosis

People often think scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine – is a condition that affects people during adolescence. However, scoliosis can develop in adults as well, and its painful symptoms can affect a person’s quality of life if not treated properly.

Receiving a degenerative scoliosis diagnosis

If you think you may be suffering from scoliosis or another degenerative spine condition, see a physician as soon as possible so an accurate diagnosis can be made. For scoliosis cases, the diagnosis process will involve a physical examination to look for spinal curvatures, as well as an MRI or X-ray to confirm the severity of the condition.

What causes the development of degenerative scoliosis?

While the ultimate cause of degenerative scoliosis is the breakdown of elements of the spine due to constant use, the more immediate cause is usually another degenerative condition such as spinal arthritis or degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause discs and vertebrae in the spine to move out of their normal position, resulting in a curvature. Obesity and heavy tobacco use are both risk factors that can speed the development of degenerative scoliosis.

Identifying scoliosis symptoms

Some common signs of degenerative scoliosis can include uneven shoulders, one hip that is higher than the other, or a shoulder blade that protrudes more than the other. If scoliosis has caused pressure to be put on a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord, then pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness may also appear.

Learn your treatment options

For many patients, the symptoms of degenerative scoliosis can be managed or eliminated through nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medications and hot/cold therapy. Alternative treatments such as chiropractic care and yoga are also popular.

Scoliosis surgery

If you’ve attempted conservative treatments for several months and your degenerative scoliosis symptoms are still preventing you from leading a normal, active lifestyle, you may need to consider spine surgery. While your physician may recommend traditional open spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute’s surgery center in Philadelphia, PA, performs minimally invasive spine surgery that is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^

If you would like to learn more about the outpatient surgery we offer for degenerative scoliosis, contact us today. We offer a review of your current MRI at no-cost that can help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.