Adult Degenerative Scoliosis & Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
New Jersey Adult & Adolescent Scoliosis Specialist
The term “scoliosis” refers to a sideways curvature of the spine, and can vary greatly in terms of severity. Many people with scoliosis develop it as a young child, before or during their first growth spurt. In cases like this, the spine deformity generally worsens throughout the course of the child’s life.
There are two main types of scoliosis, separated by the age of onset: adult degenerative scoliosis and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis not only results in deformities of the spine, but can also be accompanied by pain and mobility issues. If you or a loved one is suffering from scoliosis, give us a call at Jersey Spine Associates to schedule an assessment with our experienced spinal surgeon. We help people heal from all over New Jersey & Philadelphia.
Adult versus Adolescent Scoliosis
Also referred to as adult scoliosis or adult onset scoliosis, adult degenerative scoliosis most frequently affects individuals over the age of 65. This type of scoliosis results in a sideways curvature of the spine, resulting from degeneration of the facet joints. Many patients with adult degenerative scoliosis experience back pain similar to the pain of spinal osteoarthritis. Other symptoms may include numbness, stiffness, or weakness in the legs and feet.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, also known as adolescent scoliosis, typically manifests in children between the ages of 10 and 18. This condition is very common, affecting as many as 4 in 100 young adults. Adolescent scoliosis presents in a similar way to adult scoliosis, though the underlying cause of the condition is unidentifiable—hence the inclusion of “idiopathic” in the name. Adolescent scoliosis varies in severity, with some cases requiring the child to wear a brace or undergo spinal surgery to slow or stop the progression of the curvature.
Common Treatment Options for Scoliosis
When it comes to treating scoliosis, the treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Treatments for adult degenerative scoliosis are generally very conservative, focusing on relief of pain and providing support for the spine. Mild pain medications, spinal braces or orthotics, and physical therapy are the most common treatments for this type of scoliosis. Surgical treatment is generally only recommended in cases where the nerves are affected or the pain has become uncontrollable with medication.
For treatment of adolescent scoliosis, there are three main categories of treatment: observation, bracing, and laser spine surgery. In cases of mild scoliosis (especially if the patient is still growing), the surgeon will observe the condition to make sure it doesn’t progress into adulthood. If curvature becomes a serious problem, the patient may be asked to wear a brace that will halt or slow the progression of the curvature. The final option is surgery, and this option is generally reserved for patients with curves greater than 45 percent.
Don’t Let The Pain of Scoliosis Keep You Down, Call a Scoliosis Specialist Today!
No matter which type of scoliosis you have, you can count on the professionals at Jersey Spine Associates to handle your case gently and efficiently. When you come in for your appointment, you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff members and asked to fill out a complete medical and family history to ensure an accurate diagnosis. After your exam, one of our doctors will go over the treatment options with you to select the course of action that is best for your pain and for your life.