Most people think of scoliosis as a spine condition that affects children and teens. But scoliosis can affect adults, too. In fact, some data suggest as many as 25% of adults have scoliosis, with that number rising to nearly 70% of men and women in their 60s.
Scoliosis causes the same painful symptoms, no matter what age you are. As a top-rated spine specialist in Roseville, Minnesota, David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, helps patients relieve scoliosis pain and restore normal spine function.
If you’ve been diagnosed with adult scoliosis, here’s how he can help.
Childhood scoliosis develops while the spine is still growing and developing, but with adult scoliosis, spinal development has stopped.
Often, adult scoliosis is related to degenerative changes in your spine that happen more often as you age. For instance, osteoporosis is an age-related condition that can lead to spinal compression fractures and, eventually, spinal deformity.
Scoliosis refers specifically to a sideways curvature of your spine, but there are other types of spinal curvature, as well:
While these curvatures can be visible in more advanced cases, mild deformities may be hard to detect, even though they can still cause a lot of pain.
Most pain associated with adult scoliosis involves nerve compression that happens as your spine shifts out of its normal position.
Many people with scoliosis wind up with herniated or “slipped” discs that can press on surrounding nerves, causing pain that radiates into other parts of your body.
Before recommending any course of treatment, Dr. Chang performs a comprehensive examination of your spine, including a physical exam, and a review of your symptoms and your personal and family medical histories. X-rays or other diagnostic imaging help reveal the extent of your scoliosis, as well as its possible underlying cause (like osteoporosis, for instance).
Depending on your symptoms and other factors, Dr. Chang may recommend conservative treatment options, like:
If these options don’t provide meaningful relief of your symptoms, Dr. Chang may recommend surgery.
Dr. Chang is skilled in an array of surgical techniques for adult patients with scoliosis, including:
Using a patient-centered approach, he recommends the best treatment based on your specific needs and symptoms.
Nobody wants to have a spinal deformity, but if you’ve been diagnosed with adult scoliosis, there are things you can do to relieve your painful symptoms and even prevent the condition from getting worse.
The key is to see Dr. Chang at the first sign of back pain or stiffness so he can initiate treatment right away. To learn more about adult scoliosis treatment, call 651-219-7322 or book an appointment online today.