Scoliosis is characterized by an S- or C-shaped curve in the spine. Scoliosis in adults can occur due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, uneven pelvic position, past spinal or joint surgeries, knee or foot distortions, or even head injuries. Some curves are deeper than others. In moderate to severe cases, scoliosis is corrected through surgery.
Mayo Clinic Q and A: For adults with scoliosis, treatment based on severity of symptoms
Not Too Late: How Adults with Scoliosis Can Get Ahead of the Curve
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine backbone. There is a natural, forward-and-backward curve to the spine. With scoliosis, the spine rotates and develops a side-to-side curve. Curves may be as mild as 10 degrees, or as severe as degrees or more. In adults, the degree of the spinal curve may or may not determine treatment. Treatment is geared towards relieving symptoms, and not necessarily fixing the curve. The goal is always to decrease pain and improve function.
How to Manage Adult Scoliosis
We strive to treat the whole scoliosis condition, not just the curve. For children, this means getting back to being a kid — not a condition. For adults, this means addressing the underlying causes of chronic scoliosis pain. Bracing, surgery, wait and see — the typical treatment options focus on adolescent scoliosis, despite the fact that a greater percentage of adults than children have the condition.
What does the surgery involve? For some who suffer from an overly tilted or arthritic spine, though, surgery can be very effective at relieving symptoms. The surgery is a complex procedure and can include removing some spinal joints and connecting two or more of the bones in the spine together to properly balance the spine and improve quality of life. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional change in the normal shape of the spine that leads to excessive sideways or forward curves.