You might have heard of scoliosis before, one way or another. Basically, it’s a condition where the spine curves sideways. There are plenty of reasons for this to happen, ranging from birth abnormality to bone strength deterioration.
In this article, we’d like to talk about the latter. Our bones inevitably get weaker as we grow older, and that’s the main reason people develop degenerative scoliosis. It’s quite a common condition, and it’s often not as frightening as it sounds.
Facts about Degenerative Scoliosis
There are many types of scoliosis, which has sometimes led to many common misconceptions about degenerative scoliosis. That’s why we tried to gather what we know about it to clarify your assumptions about this condition.
There Is No Cure for Scoliosis, but It’s Manageable
Unfortunately, this condition is incurable, but there are plenty of workouts that manage scoliosis. These exercises are often meant to prevent symptoms from getting worse. Since degenerative scoliosis is the weakening of the bone’s structure, treatment plans for it are often intended to strengthen your body’s integrity.
Scoliosis Is Not a Disease
There are no medicines that can help reverse the effects of scoliosis. After all, it’s not a disease. Scoliosis is basically a condition, or abnormality of the spine, in which it forms the letter “C’ or “S.” While the different types of scoliosis all have their own identifiable cause, except for idiopathic scoliosis where the condition has unknown origins, adult scoliosis is often caused by osteoporosis or spine disc disease.
68% of Old People Have Scoliosis
Diagnosis of degenerative scoliosis is difficult because it does not have any obvious symptoms. However, a study in adult scoliosis has found that around 68% of people aged over 60 years old have a mild form of the condition. While stiffness is often the most common symptom, other signs gradually develop or come and go, making it harder to diagnose.
Degenerative Scoliosis Can Be Dangerous
More often than not, this condition is not life-threatening. It can hinder you from doing your usual chores or activities, but generally, only the structure of your body changes and maybe some mild pains. However, when your spine curve starts putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, it gets dangerous and would require immediate attention.
Surgery Is Not Necessary for Scoliosis
As we have mentioned earlier, scoliosis treatment is often meant to improve your body’s structural integrity and increase mobility. This is why there isn’t often a need for invasive treatment to correct your spine’s alignment. However, when degenerative scoliosis becomes dangerous because of the reasons we’ve listed above, surgery might be needed.
Possible Surgeries for Scoliosis
If you do, in fact, require surgery for scoliosis, there are many possible operations out there that might be recommended. Obviously, your doctor would be the one to decide which one is the best possible option for you. Be that as it may, here are some of them to give you an idea.
This surgery is one of the most common scoliosis operations because it can be used for almost every type or form of a curved spine. Basically, two titanium rods are installed on both sides of the spine to realign it and reduce or diminish the curvature. A set of screws and hooks are then used to anchor the rods and prevent the spine from curving.
Bone grafting can also be used for scoliosis surgery through spinal fusion. Basically, bone grafts from other parts of the body, such as the pelvic region or the rib section, are used to fuse the spine’s vertebrae. This will mean that some vertebrae would eventually combine and become one solid structure. It often takes at least 3 or 4 months to 1 year before the vertebrae get fused.
Because of the spinal curvature, the upper skeletal system’s anterior would often result in having a rib hump. This is caused by the pressure pushing the ribs outward. Thoracoplasty, also known as rib resection, is mainly to correct or remove the rib hump. Basically, a few bones from the rib section are removed, which will then eventually cause the spine to straighten.
As we grow old, our bones will inevitably weaken, especially if we don’t take care of them. Through regular exercise and consumption of healthy food and drinks, we can guarantee that we avoid some of the most common health conditions caused by poor lifestyle.
While there are many reasons for scoliosis development, living a healthy life increases your chances of preventing it from happening.