Adult Scoliosis — treatment overview

While most doctors first recommend conservative adult scoliosis treatments, surgery can become an option in some cases. Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal S- or C-shaped lateral curve that can occur at any level of the spine. Adult scoliosis typically occurs in the lumbar (lower) spine because of natural, degenerative changes that affect spinal components over time.

At one time, patients requiring scoliosis surgery had to undergo a traditional open spine procedure, which involves a large muscle-disrupting incision, overnight hospitalization and a long, sometimes painful, recovery.

As an alternative, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery that uses a muscle-sparing less than 1-inch incision. Then, small surgical instruments can be utilized by our board-certified surgeons+ to treat the affected area of the spine. The result is an outpatient procedure that offers our patients a shorter recovery time with less risk of complications compared to traditional open back surgery.

When adult scoliosis requires treatment

Adult scoliosis can lead to other conditions such as spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the nerve passageways in the spinal column. Compression of lumbar spinal nerves causes localized pain, as well as radiating pain, numbness, weakness and tingling that affects the lower extremities. Upon diagnosing adult scoliosis as the origin of symptoms, doctors will usually prescribe an initial course of conservative treatments including methods like the following:

  • Rest
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot\cold compresses
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Use of a back brace

If weeks or months of nonsurgical treatment, along with lifestyle changes like posture correction, weight management and quitting smoking do not improve symptoms, surgery can become an option.

Laser Spine Institute

Laser Spine Institute can treat symptoms related to adult scoliosis with minimally invasive decompression procedures such as laminotomy and foraminotomy. In addition to nerve decompression, surgeons at Laser Spine Institute can also address lumbar deformities caused by scoliosis with minimally invasive stabilization procedures. Unlike traditional open back fusions, these procedures — such as lateral lumbar interbody fusion or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion — require only a small, muscle-sparing incision. Minimally invasive stabilization involves removing damaged spinal discs, realigning vertebrae and placing supportive implants while still being performed on an outpatient basis and offering a lower risk of complication than traditional fusions.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review* that can help you determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.