Can Adults Develop Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a deformation of the spine that causes it to develop into a C-shaped or S-shaped curve. Several conditions can cause it, but in many cases, the cause is unknown. Young children are routinely screened for scoliosis, leading many people to think that only children have it. However, adults can also develop scoliosis.

At the Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders in Houston, Texas, Dr. Jose E. Rodriguez-Cordova is a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon who provides medical services that help you live your best life. He is experienced in treating scoliosis and will provide you with top-quality care in a safe and supportive environment.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine that causes it to curve sideways. It most often develops just before puberty and can be caused by many conditions. Scoliosis is usually a mild condition, but as children’s bodies develop and grow, it can worsen and become disabling.

What are the signs of scoliosis?

Some of the signs that could indicate scoliosis are:

  • Hips aren’t aligned
  • One shoulder is higher
  • Spine is twisted
  • Ribs stick out
  • The waist is uneven
  • One shoulder blade sticks out
  • Back pain

The signs may be quite mild at first but can progress and, if not treated, can become severe and possibly disabling.

Can adults develop scoliosis?

Although scoliosis detection and treatment are typically focused on children, adults can develop scoliosis. Some adults have undiagnosed scoliosis since childhood, and it’s not discovered until much later in life. Others develop degenerative scoliosis over time, which is caused by wear on the spine from aging.

Adult scoliosis can be caused by many conditions, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disease
  • Surgery
  • Spinal injury/trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Neuromuscular conditions

In 80% of scoliosis cases, the cause is idiopathic, which means that the reason behind it is not known. Regardless of the cause of your scoliosis, Dr. Rodriguez-Cordova finds the best treatment options for you.

Treatments for scoliosis

The recommended treatment for scoliosis depends on its cause, severity, and the age it develops. For children, a back brace might help the spine develop correctly, but for adults, the treatment options tend to focus more on the management of symptoms.

For adult scoliosis, the treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural injections
  • Spinal fusion surgery

Dr. Rodriguez-Cordova focuses on trying less invasive treatments to see if they are effective before considering surgical options.

Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine that causes it to curve to one side. It is usually quite mild but can become more severe over time. Although scoliosis diagnosis and treatment is focused on children, adults can also develop scoliosis. There are many treatment options available to manage symptoms, and surgery is only considered when other treatments don’t work.

To set up an appointment at Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders, call our office or use our online booking system to schedule an appointment at your convenience.

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