Degenerative Scoliosis The scoliosis curve, which typically forms a "C" shape, is located in the lumbar spine.
Causes of Degenerative Scoliosis
Degenerative scoliosis is caused by a gradual deterioration of the facet joints. This is the same process that causes osteoarthritis of the spine; however, in degenerative scoliosis the pressure of these deteriorating facet joints causes a straight spine, as viewed from the back, to begin to shift so that the spine curves to one side.
Pain from Degenerative Scoliosis
Pain is present in some patients, but not all, and is similar to the pain of osteoarthritis of the spine, which is caused by the same joint deterioration process. Patients may experience stiffness and pain in the mid to lower back and/or pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs and feet.
When the pain is severe, physicians must determine: If the degenerative scoliosis itself is causing pain or; Whether or not other conditions (such as a muscle strain) are causing the patient's pain, and if the scoliosis is incidental.
Adult Scoliosis vs. Adolescent Scoliosis
Many patients have heard of adolescent scoliosis (also called idiopathic scoliosis), but are not sure how adolescent and adult scoliosis differ. Adolescent scoliosis occurs in children 10 to18 without cause. In severe cases, it can progress rapidly as the child grows, requiring a scoliosis brace or surgery to slow or stop the curvature. Patients feel pain because of the scoliosis itself.
Unlike adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis has a known cause: the deterioration of the facet joints in the back due to aging. The inflammation of the degenerating facet joints is the cause of pain, not the curve, which typically progresses slowly at about 1 to 2 degrees per year. Therefore, treatment is not centered on slowing the curvature, but instead is focused on relieving pain.
Degenerative Scoliosis Symptoms
Pain mainly results from the deterioration of the facet joints, which, when healthy, are like hinges that help the spine bend smoothly. In some people, aging naturally erodes the cartilage that protects the joints. This erosion process, the same as in osteoarthritis of the spine, can cause the joints to become irritated and inflamed by the bone of the vertebrae. The inflammation is the cause of the patient’s pain, not the curvature of the spine.
Pain comes on gradually. Back pain from degenerative scoliosis does not occur suddenly but worsens gradually over time, and is associated with activity.
The pain tends to be worse first thing in the morning, and tends to improve after the patient gets up and around for a while. The pain then worsens later in the day.
Sitting feels better than standing/walking. This is because the facet joints generate most of the pain, and facet joints have more loading (pressure) in the standing position. Sitting takes the stress and weight off the joints.
Leg pain in one or both legs when standing/walking. As irritated facet joints become enlarged, they can constrict the lumbar spinal canal (a condition called lumbar stenosis). This constriction is even narrower when standing or walking, because this position causes blood to become enlarged around the nerve root. Since the nerve roots that leave the lower spine serve the legs, patients may feel leg pain. Sitting opens up the space and allows the blood to flow out, relieving pain.
Hi i am Nida Shahid 19 years old, suffering with Muscular Dystrophy, which effect my abilities of standing, walking and paralyzing me. As a result Scoliosis (back bone curve)of the spine is also started.its very panic and if not addressed by surgery could effects lungs and breathing ... Due to Muscular dystrophy i cannot walk or sit myself, every moment i need support from my parents, even cannot raise my hands.....i just want to feel like normal. As whole day either i have to sit on bed or wheelchair. Its hard to understand our situation, once i was also walking going school and have dreams to become doctor. But from grade three i have to leave school and study at home. Unfortunately my younger brother and sister also suffer from same issue, i cry myself and become afraid for tow loungers....doctors are saying its important for me to go through a surgery...or otherwise i ll have breathing problems or other problems ...i really don't want that to be happen...and the cost of surgery is around US$150,000...for me & my whole family that's to much...so thats y i made this page ...so guys please Fund me for my scoliosis surgery! if you want to now more about us go http://miracleforthree.com/.
With hope that good people are still available in this world. www.miracleforthree.com, face book: https://www.facebook.com/NidaScoliosisSurgery/ Degenerative scoliosis surgery is more difficult than adolescent scoliosis surgery for several reasons.
Patients are older and tend to have other medical issues, which leads to an increased chance of a peri-operative medical complication
Often, because the patients are older, osteoporosis is also present. This makes gaining purchase (fusion) in the bone with spinal instrumentation systems a difficult process
Fusing the lumbar spine at multiple levels often requires a surgical approach from both the front and back to get a solid fusion, which makes it a more extensive surgery.
The fusion may need to be carried down to the sacrum, and getting a solid fusion to heal in this area can be difficult.
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