Degenerative Scoliosis Treated by Top Spine Surgeons at Mercy


Scoliosis is a condition where the spine has an abnormal side-to-side curve. This 3D medical animation explains the anatomy of the spine as well as treatment for scoliosis.

At The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy, our spine specialists are dedicated to treating all types of scoliosis, including degenerative and adolescent scoliosis. Patients from across Baltimore seek the expertise and experience of our team of physicians for the advanced treatment options of spine disorders.

About the Condition

Degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult scoliosis or degenerative lumbar scoliosis, can occur as the normal spine ages. Discs soften and arthritis may develop in the facet joints (back side of the spine). If there is some curvature (scoliosis) in the lower back (lumber spine), it can greatly increase when the discs soften and facet joints erode due to arthritis. 

Increased curvature often is accompanied by increased instability and pain with activity. The facet joints form additional bone to help stabilize the failing spine. This extra bone can press upon nerves to cause leg pain. Degenerative scoliosis most often occurs in the low back of middle-aged adults.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Degenerative scoliosis symptoms can include:

  • Gradual onset of pain in the mid to lower back
  • Pain being worse in the morning and late evening
  • Leg pain

The pain associated with degenerative scoliosis most often is caused by the inflammation in the facet joints not by the curve of the spine.

Degenerative scoliosis can be diagnosed with a physical exam as well as using imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Degenerative scoliosis most often does not require surgery. The goal of degenerative scoliosis treatment is to:

  • Reduce the pain associated with the inflammation of the facet joints
  • Increase the spine’s range of motion, strength and flexibility

 Pain relief can be achieved through:

  • Pain relievers
  • Epidural injections
  • Facet injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic treatment

Our physician team includes experts in pain management and we work closely with patients to address their individual needs.

Surgery may be considered as a treatment option for degenerative scoliosis when the pain is so severe that it interferes with the ability to walk.

Meet Our Doctors: Maryland Spine Center
The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Charles Edwards, II, M.D.

A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. Charles Edwards II, Medical Director of The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy, treats scoliosis, osteoarthritis, spinal deformity and complex degenerative spine conditions in Baltimore.

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