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Suffering from Scoliosis?

  • Category: In The News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Dr. Matthew C. Lafleur, Orthopaedic Spine Specialist
Suffering from Scoliosis?

Adult scoliosis is increasingly common in senior adults, showing up around age 60 and affecting more than 30% of people over 70 years old.

Advanced scoliosis, commonly known as a curvature or rotation of the spine, can limit activity and cause pain, difficulty breathing and even embarrassment. Most adults with scoliosis can live a normal, active life without difficulty. But for those with more advanced cases, you should see our fellowship-trained orthopedic spine specialist to properly manage your condition.

Why the increase in adult scoliosis?
Degenerative arthritis is “the main culprit.” Degenerative arthritis occurs from everyday wear and tear of your spine that you experience as you age, or it can occur from a trauma.

What are the types of scoliosis in adults?

  • Congenital: caused at birth
  • Idiopathic: occurs for no apparent reason
  • Neuromuscular: develops as the result of another condition like cerebral palsy or physical trauma

What are the symptoms?

Although pain isn’t a common symptom, there are several warning signs that may indicate you have scoliosis. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, you should see our spine specialist.

  • Increase in curvature
  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other.

If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine also will rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Severe scoliosis can cause back pain and difficulty breathing.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment for adult scoliosis depends on the type and symptoms. If no disabling symptoms are present, we usually monitor you with periodic physical exams. To help alleviate pain, we sometimes recommend medications or exercises to strengthen muscles supporting the back.

For those with disabling pain in the back or legs, surgery may be an option. Scoliosis surgery aims to reduce the severity of the spinal curve, relieve pain and prevent the curvature for worsening.

The Spine Specialists at North Oaks Orthopaedic Specialty Center have your back. Schedule an appointment and get relief.

Call (985) 230-BONE [2663] or request an appointment online at