Degenerative scoliosis

In this blog post we’ll see a mild case of degenerative scoliosis. This often proceeds from slowly progressive degeneration of discs in the low back, with collapse of the disc, asymmetrically, to one side- in this case, the right side of the patient. When this happens, the vertebra above the asymmetrically collapsed vertebra lean toward the collapsing side. But, of course, since the body and head need to be maintained over the pelvis, at some place in the spine, the spine will reverse back toward the center, resulting in a scoliosis, i.e. curvature of the spine in the frontal or coronal plane. In this case, the curvature was only about 10 degrees, which is fairly modest. Other times the curvature may be 40 degrees or more, and associated with several severe degenerative changes, and may require surgical improvement.

In this case the degenerative scoliosis is mild and this patient improves satisfactorily with non-surgical spinal decompression treatment. In fact, this patients does relatively heavy deadlifting exercises and squatting exercises. In theoretical terms, doing heavy lifting with degenerative scoliosis is limited but the exact limits are for this patient to ascertain empirically.

In the past, this patient has had sciatica in both legs, not simultaneously, but at various times. Those bouts were accompanied by visible, moderately-large, herniated discs, which eventually resolved, symptomatically, and anatomically. Now the patient’s only complaint is occasional right-sided sacral pain, probably due to the compressed facet joint and disc on the right side. And this is readily resolved with spinal decompression treatment as needed.

If you look at the link, below, you’ll see a more severe case of multi-level degeneration and concomitant spondylolisthesis, which required a multi-level lumbar fusion to improve the degenerative scoliosis and the grade 2 spondylolisthesis.

Over the years I have had many patients with degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Most can be treated effectively without surgery, but sometimes surgery is the best or only solution for significant improvement.

If I can help you with your back or neck problem, or you want a surgical opinion, call me at 404-558-4015. I also do phone consultations.