While many cases of scoliosis develop and progress in childhood and adolescence, adults may develop a new or worsening curvature of the spine as well. When these curvatures arise in the absence of arthritis or other degenerative conditions, they indicate the presence of adult idiopathic scoliosis.
Adult idiopathic scoliosis is essentially a progression of a scoliosis that began in adolescence. In many cases, the condition went unnoticed and undiagnosed in the patient's youth but made itself known as spinal curvature increased. This increase may manifest as a shoulder asymmetry, lower back prominence, or a rib hump, which may increase in severity if the patient has disc degeneration or postural imbalance.
These complicating factors can lead to an increased symptomatic profile in adult idiopathic scoliosis. Many patients experience low back pain, stiffness, and fatigue, while pinched nerves in the affected area can lead to pain and numbness in the legs.
If these symptoms do not significantly interfere with daily function, patients may find symptom relief through pain medication and core strengthening exercises. However, those with severe deformities or intense discomfort may require surgery to restore structure and function.
To learn more about Ra'Kerry Rahman, MD, and his practice, visit www.spinesurgeonrr.com.