As we explained in our blog on the subject, there are two forms of adult degenerative scoliosis. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the condition known as de novo scoliosis.
What is de novo scoliosis?
De novo scoliosis is a sideways spinal curve that appears in adulthood. The difference between de novo scoliosis and degenerative scoliosis is that de novo scoliosis affects patients who have never had scoliosis in the past.
‘De novo’ means ‘new’, and this name refers to the fact that the condition occurs later in life, during the patient’s adulthood rather than their adolescence. It is uncommon for de novo scoliosis to arise before the age of 40-50.
Causes of de novo scoliosis
As bones get weaker and the ligaments and discs in the spine become worn due to age-related changes, the spine may begin to curve.
In most cases, de novo scoliosis is caused by the ageing of the facet joints and discs in the lower (lumbar) spine, leading to the vertebrae slipping out of place and the spine losing its shape. However, a number of other conditions – including spinal canal stenosis, compression fractures, and osteoporosis – have been known to contribute to the occurrence of de novo scoliosis.
Diagnosing de novo scoliosis
A physical examination and X-ray scan / imaging techniques are required to diagnose de novo scoliosis.
Common symptoms include:
- Muscle fatigue
- Back pain
- Feelings of stiffness, numbness and weakness in the back and legs
Posture may also be affected.
In many cases, de novo scoliosis is not properly diagnosed, especially when it does not cause a significant amount of pain. A thorough inspection of the patient’s medical history helps to determine whether any underlying issues have contributed to its development.
De novo scoliosis treatment
The best treatment for this condition can depend on the nature of the condition and the symptoms experienced by the patient, with both non-surgical and surgical interventions available.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we use our own physiotherapy programme called ScolioGold to treat scoliosis sufferers of all ages. Physical therapy can improve the patient’s mobility, boost strength and correct abnormal posture, and ScolioGold therapy combines a variety of proven non-surgical techniques to achieve noticeable, lasting results.
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