FAQs on Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

by Nevada Pain

Scoliosis is a condition wherein the spinal column has taken on an abnormal sideways curve that often looks like a letter “S” or C.” It’s a condition that affects both children and adults.

Adult degenerative scoliosis specifically is different from the typical scoliosis that occurScoliosis treatment Las Vegass in children. It happens when an individual reaches skeletal maturity and eventually the spine experiences degeneration. This condition mostly affects the lumbar spine.

Here are common questions and answers to help you better understand adult degenerative scoliosis.

Q: How is Degenerative Scoliosis Different from Idiopathic Scoliosis?

A: There are two types of adult scoliosis. The first type is when a person develops scoliosis during adolescence, and the condition gradually progresses as the individual’s skeletal structure matures in adulthood. The second one occurs in adulthood because of the deterioration of the facet joints and discs and arthritis.

With degenerative adult scoliosis, the intervertebral disc starts to degenerate and lose water. These cause abnormal stress and arthritis in the facet joints. An abnormal curvature then starts to occur, leading to a bigger curve.

An individual may also suffer from a flat back, which happens when the spine’s normal front to back curve is lost. The main difference between the two is that adult degenerative scoliosis has a known cause and idiopathic scoliosis does not.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: The major symptom is pain, which may intensify from time to time and impact a Pain Clinics Las Vegasperson’s day-to-day life. The pain tends to occur in several parts of the back as well as down to the area of the buttocks, hips, and upper thighs. The degeneration may also lead to pinching of spinal nerve roots, which is known as spinal stenosis.

Other symptoms include leg pain, achiness, and numbness. An inability or difficulty standing up straight is also common with scoliosis. As the curvature of the spine progresses, an obvious change in posture and appearance may occur, including a hump. Shortness of breath can occur in cases where the curvature is extreme in the thoracic spine because of the affect it has on the lungs.

Q: How is it diagnosed?

A: Adult scoliosis can be diagnosed through plain x-rays. MRI is the best method to determine spinal stenosis. If you can’t get an MRI, a good alternative is CT myelogram.

Q: How is adult scoliosis treated?

A: If you’re experiencing minimal pain only, then treatment may not be necessary. For most people who have scoliosis, treatment is optional and minor pain and symptoms can be Back Pain doctor Las Vegastreated using physical therapy, pain medications, and braces that support the spine.

Medial branch blocks or facet blocks may provide lasting Pain Relief, for arthritis in the facet joints. If the treatment works effectively but provides less pain relief over time, you may choose to repeat the procedure or undergo radiofrequency neurotomy procedures. If you have spinal stenosis, epidural steroid injections may be an effective treatment option.

Surgery such as spinal fusion or decompression is often the last resort when treating adult scoliosis as there are considerable risks involved.

The top pain management doctors in Las Vegas are with Nevada Pain. The pain doctors are Award Winning and Board Certified, offering both medical and interventional pain management. Over 50 different treatment options  are offered, which help over 90% of patients avoid surgery and achieve pain relief.

Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!

Five Things to Consider Before Undergoing Elective Back Surgery

Close to 1 million back surgeries are performed each year now in United States. The majority of them are elective, meaning that it is a quality-of-life decision to undergo the procedure and not an absolute necessity.

There are multiple factors to consider when making the decision to undergo back surgery. Here are Five of them.

1. The first consideration is whether or not to seek a second opinion. Spine sBack Pain Las Vegasurgery is never a decision to be taken lightly. Therefore, give some serious thought as to whether or not a second set of qualified eyes on your situation would be in your best interest.

Three things may occur from this second opinion. One would be whether or not the surgeon feels like the procedure is indicated. The second thing that may occur is the surgeon may feel like surgery is indicated but a different procedure and what has been planned would be the best option.

And the third thing that could happen is the surgeon feels like you should have the procedure that has been offered. Whichever occurs during the second opinion, at least it will help to have a second set of eyes looking at your situation.

2. The second consideration is to consider whether or not all attempts at conservative treatment have been tried. Because there are risks associated with spinal surgery, considerable nonoperative treatments should be tried first.Back Pain Specialist Las Vegas

This may include physical therapy, Las Vegas Chiropractor treatment, pain medications, interventional Las Vegas Pain Management treatments and maybe even acupuncture. The point is that you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror down the road and say that you truly tried everything possible before undergoing the procedure.

3. A third consideration prior to undergoing back surgery is a risk assessment. There are quite a few risks associated with some spine procedures, whereas, others have just a few. However, no procedure is risk-free and a risk tolerance needs to be evaluated prior to signing up.

For instance, adult scoliosis procedures have a very high complication rate at over 50%. The risk of complications with a simple laminectomy are well under 5%. Regardless, be sure to listen very closely when your surgeon is describing the risks and benefitScoliosis treatment Las Vegass of the proposed procedure.

4. Another consideration prior to undergoing back surgery is a reality check on the potential outcomes. While a small percentage of back surgery outcomes are akin to a homerun in baseball, more often than not the outcome would be a double.

This would mean that in the case of degenerative disc disease, a spinal fusion or disc replacement may accomplish 50% pain relief as opposed to complete relief.

For a procedure like adult scoliosis correction, you may obtain 50% pain relief as well. Rarely, do these procedures provide 100% relief.

For instance, when the FDA study was performed looking at spinal fusion versus artificial disc replacement, over half of the patients in both groups were still taking narcotics over a year after the procedures.

5. The fifth thing to keep in mind prior to undergoing back surgery is the timing. Since these are Pain Clinics Las Vegaselective procedures, they can be scheduled when an individual has time off from work or the best time and is it her life to accomplish the necessary time for rehab.
A procedure for degenerative disc disease will require at least 6 to 12 weeks of healing, whereas, an adult scoliosis procedure will take 6 to 9 months to fully recover.

With these five considerations, patients will be able to truly establish whether or not back surgery is in the best interest. At that point people will be able to look at themselves in the mirror and say they made the right decision even if a complication occurs.

The top pain management doctors in Las Vegas are with the Nevada Pain Network. Award Winning and Board Certified, the doctors work at Henderson and Las Vegas pain clinics that offer both medical and interventional pain management.

Over 50 insurances are accepted, with multiple clinics for convenience. This includes personal injury doctors in Las Vegas, Workers Compensation claims, PPO’s, Medicare and more.

Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis and Nonoperative Treatment

Spinal deformity can be a very painful condition in the life of an adult. Nerve compression or the spine can both result in a great amount of pain due to Adult Scoliosis. With proper Pain management clinic Las Vegasnonoperative treatment by a Pain Management Doctor in Las Vegas, patients can achieve a very tolerable level of baseline pain, avoid surgery, and get back to performing desired activities.

What is Adult Scoliosis?

Adult Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine. It can be carried from childhood scoliosis or be the result of degenerative disc disease and arthritic degeneration of the spine that resulted in a permanent deformity. It can cause a range of problems in adulthood, and many of the symptoms can be painful in the back and legs. Adult Scoliosis can affect the overall quality of life of a patient. It can be disabling with associated pain in the back and lower legs ranging from mild to severe from nerve compression.

Diagnosis of Adult Scoliosis

A series of diagnostic tests will be used by your Las Vegas pain clinic doctor to determine if there is an imbalance or spinal deformity. Some can be very obvious and seen with the Scoliosis Treatment Las Vegasnaked eye, but others may rely on long views of the spine being positioned for the relationship of the pelvis, lower extremities, and spine to be investigated.

Adult Scoliosis is multi-factored. Many pre-operative tests may be performed to determine the nature of therapy or surgical intervention, such as a DEXA Scan, CT myelography (study of nerve positioning), or MRI. For example, if an individual has very poor bone quality on the DEXA Scan the spine may not be able to hold on to hardware so surgery would be a bad idea. The MRI can show if nerves are being pinched due to the arthritis, which is known as spinal stenosis.

X-rays are used to follow the progression of a spinal curve and as a follow-up after a surgical procedure. The X-ray is the most important diagnostic test for Adult Scoliosis, as it gives the most accurate information on subluxations (slips) and spinal rotation. Many patients do not have the crucial X-ray before surgery and this may warrant further revisional surgeries.

Treatment Options for Adult Scoliosis

Adult Scoliosis and its treatment can vary depending on a number of factors. On average, most cases of Adult Scoliosis will not need surgical intervention for the patient to lead a Best pain clinic Las Vegasproductive life.

  • Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatment has a twofold goal of reducing symptoms of pain, and to increase the functional abilities of the patient with strengthening, improving flexibility, and a wider range of motion. These are factors that impact the spine through its support and flexibility, to help ward off the progression of this degenerative condition.

  • Medications

Deteriorating facet joints and increased, or sustained, inflammation of the spine can be very painful. Usually the first treatment sought is through NSAIDS and pain relievers that are effective on arthritis conditions and these conditions typically share many common symptoms with Adult Scoliosis.

For acute exacerbations of adult scoliois, short term narcotics may be very beneficial. Over the long term, the risks of narcotics start to outweigh the benefits. So this needs to be weighed and discussed with your pain doctor in Las Vegas. During the painful times, muscle relaxers may also be used.

For the leg pains due to spinal stenosis, neurogenic stabilizing medications such as Lyrica can be beneficial.

  • Injections

To decrease inflammation and relieve pain, your Nevada pain management doctor may recommend epidural or facet injections for treatment. Medication or a numbing agent is directly injected into the affected region of the spine.

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Radiofrequency Ablation

The epidural injections are the gold standard for spinal stenosis, and may provide relief for months at a time. A series of injections may be necessary, which can be repeated every few months.

Facet blocks may be helpful for the arthritis pain, or medial branch blocks to diagnose which joints are causing the most pain. In and of themselves, these injections can provide a few months of Pain Relief.

Once these injections  wear off, a radiofrequency ablation may provide 12 to 18 months of extended pain relief. The issue with adult scoliosis is that a lot of joints are typically affected, so the RFA may be necessary in quite a few joints. The good news is that RFA is such a revolutionary procedure, it can help patients avoid the need for surgery as operations for adult scoliosis have potential complications.

  • Surgery

Candidates for surgery are the patients who are experiencing limited range of motion when walking that may be accompanied by severe pain (lumbar stenosis and neurogenic claudication). Lumbar stenosis patients usually have spinal decompression surgery along with the extensive fusion. If a spinal curve is present which may cause further complications involving stability or acceleration in the progression of the curve, then a spinal fusion procedure will be considered.Pain Management Las Vegas NV

These procedures have significant complication risks and are used as a last resort, quality of life procedure.

Adult Scoliosis can cause considerable pain and limited function for patients. Thankfully, Pain Management Doctors in Henderson and Las Vegas have considerable nonoperative options that are well over 90% successful at helping patients avoid the need for surgery.

For the best pain management Las Vegas has to offer, call the Nevada Pain Network today at (702) 323-0553.

5 Myths About Degenerative Scoliosis – from a Las Vegas pain clinic

Degenerative scoliosis is an adult form of scoliosis that is caused by a degeneration of the facet joints and the spinal discs. The result is the spine collapses and forms a “C” shape located in the lower region of the back. Degenerative scoliosis takes time to form, and is a gradual process occurring as the spinal discs and facet joints weaken and deteriorate over Pain Management Doctor Las Vegastime.

The symptoms of degenerative scoliosis are back pain and stiffness, along with numbness and pain in the legs and feet. Some people with the condition report no symptoms.  Below we discuss  5 myths about degenerative scoliosis.

Degenerative Scoliosis Myth #1: The Condition Only Affects Individuals Over 65

While degenerative scoliosis targets people over the age of 65, it is not uncommon for people in their 40’s and 50’s to begin to experience symptoms. Specifically, those who had scoliosis as adolescents can slowly worsen in adulthood. In addition, individuals who experienced significant trauma while younger may end up dealing with post traumatic arthritis and adult scoliosis.

Degenerative Scoliosis Myth #2: Adult Scoliosis Can Only Achieve Pain Relief with Surgery

Surgery is an option when it comes to treating adult scoliosis, but it is not the only method available. As with many other back and spine conditions, adult scoliosis can be treated effectively at Las Vegas Pain Clinics with non-invasive methods such as:Las Vegas pain doctors

  • Pain Medication – prescription and non-prescription medications are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Epidural Injections – injections are used to administer anti-inflammatory and/or numbing medication to the affected area providing relief for the patient. This helps if spinal stenosis is present as a result of the arthritis.
  • Facet Blocks and Medial Branch Blocks
  • Radiofrequency Ablation

Degenerative Scoliosis Myth #3: The Only People to Get Adult Scoliosis are those who had Adolescent Scoliosis

This is absolutely false. As stated above, it is possible for anyone to get adult scoliosis from spinal arthritis. What is true is that people who suffered from adolescent scoliosis are at an increased risk of suffering from degenerative scoliosis because their spines are Degenerative Scoliosisalready curved. If the curve was over 40 degrees, the chances of the scoliosis worsening in adult is about one degree per year.

Spinal arthritis may develop in adulthood, leading to adult scoliosis even if no problem was seen in adolescence.

Degenerative Scoliosis Myth #4: Osteoarthritis is the only cause of Degenerative Scoliosis

Osteoarthritis is a cause for the condition, but osteoporosis can also lead to the onset of DS. It is not uncommon for people to suffer from both adult scoliosis and osteoporosis.

Degenerative Scoliosis Myth #5: You cannot Exercise with Degenerative Scoliosis

Some people may not be able to exercise when suffering from degenerative scoliosis. But Pain Management Nevadain some instances physical activity is part of a quality therapy program designed to strengthen the surrounding muscles. This may include physical therapy, swimming, walking, etc.

If you or a loved one is suffering from significant back and/or leg pain in adulthood, pain management doctors in Las Vegas can help you. Over 90% of those with adult scoliosis may receive pain relief that reduces the pain so much that surgery can be avoided successfully. Call today at (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling!