RaKerry Rahman, MD, serves as a cervical spine and scoliosis surgeon at the Spine and Orthopedic Surgical Institute of Houston, Texas. There, Ra’Kerry Rahman provides surgical treatment for spinal curvatures in both children and adults.
Adult degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult onset scoliosis, occurs due to degeneration of the intervertebral discs and facet joints of the spine. This is a natural consequence of aging but may occur to a greater degree on one side of the spine than on the other. When this happens, the spine develops an abnormal lateral curvature that, when it progresses to 10 degrees or more, is diagnosable as scoliosis.
Scoliosis in adults typically develops in the lower back and co-presents with a sagittal straightening of the spinal column. It is often asymptomatic, though patients may notice stiffness or aching in the middle to lower back. Sharper back pain, numbness, and tingling are common as well and may radiate down into the leg. In some cases, leg pain may occur independently and usually resolves with rest.
Most patients with adult degenerative scoliosis can find relief through physical therapy, bracing, and pain medication. If these interventions fail to adequately control pain and mobility issues, surgery may be necessary.