Spinal fusion surgery for degenerative scoliosis patients

For some patients with degenerative scoliosis, spinal fusion surgery may become a treatment option to correct the pain and misalignment of the spine caused by this condition.

Degenerative scoliosis, or adult onset scoliosis, is similar to other forms of the condition in that it is characterized by an abnormal spinal curvature. However, degenerative scoliosis differs because it is most often diagnosed in patients who are 65 years of age or older. The condition tends to arise from the natural degeneration of facet joints, usually in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. Idiopathic scoliosis, in contrast, is most often diagnosed in patients who are 18 years old or younger; this is the form more commonly known as adolescent scoliosis.

Before surgery even becomes an option, many doctors will have degenerative scoliosis patients attempt a number of conservative treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), spinal injections and physical therapy. In a very high number of cases, patients will find relief from the stiffness, inflammation and pain commonly associated with degenerative scoliosis through these nonsurgical therapies.

However, if the condition worsens, causing disruption of daily activities, work and relationships, spinal fusion can become a serious consideration as your next treatment option.

Traditional open back fusion and minimally invasive stabilization

For patients with degenerative scoliosis, there are two main approaches to spinal fusion surgery that may be recommended: traditional open back fusion and minimally invasive fusion, which includes the minimally invasive stabilization procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute.

Traditional open back fusion involves a large incision, muscle disruption and overnight hospitalization. These highly invasive procedures can potentially result in a lengthy and difficult recovery period, as well as risk of infection, complication and failed back surgery syndrome due to the invasive approach to the spine.

Minimally invasive stabilization, in contrast, is performed on an outpatient basis by taking a muscle-sparing approach. This is accomplished with small surgical tools that are used to relieve pressure on the nerve roots near the spine and stabilize spinal curvature associated with adult scoliosis.

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute today

For more information about our safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery,^ contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about our minimally invasive stabilization surgery for degenerative adult scoliosis. We’re happy to offer a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.