Can Adults Develop Scoliosis?

Fox News—March 29, 2016

Han Jo Kim, MD, a spine surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery recently appeared on Fox News' Q&A with Dr. Manny to answer a viewer's question about whether or not adults can develop scoliosis. According to the segment, there are two types of adult scoliosis: degenerative scoliosis, which "arises after the age of 50 and is usually caused by disc degeneration from arthritis or degeneration of the spine" and adult idiopathic scoliosis, which occurs "when a curve exists in a patient's teenage years and progresses into adulthood."

Dr. Kim identifies the varying symptoms of scoliosis in adults by noting that, "Often patients will say that their shoulders feel uneven or that there listing over to one side or feeling like they have a hump on their back". Dr. Kim elaborates that, "Scoliosis is not painful unless you develop secondary changes and degenerative changes, which can result in nerve compression, leg pain and also some muscular pain related to the fact that the scoliosis is causing an asymmetry in the way that your muscles are working."

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