The problems associated with spinal deformity in adults vary and include changes in appearance, back pain, sciatica, imbalance and difficulty walking long distances.
Surgical intervention is a major procedure and therefore needs to be carefully considered.
Dr Stanford has a high level of expertise in this area and can be relied upon for a thorough, and considered diagnosis.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an uncommon inflammatory condition that results in stiffness and often deformity of the spine. It starts in young adult life and affects the spine in a progressive way over decades. Pelvic and spinal pains are the early symptoms, and these are treated with medications on the advice of a specialist physician.
Unfortunately, the disease results in spontaneous fusion of the spine, which becomes rigid.
Two problems may result from this. Firstly, relatively minor trauma can break the spine and threaten the spinal cord because there is reduced flexibility of the spine; clearly, this is an emergency and is managed as such. Secondly, the spine may fuse in a bent over position, leading to difficulties walking and looking forward.
In either case, we will consider surgical correction of the deformity to enable you to look forward; and easier walking. This is major surgery that can completely change people’s lives.
Age-related degenerative change of the intervertebral discs and joints may result in curvature of the spine known as scoliosis. In addition to back pain, there may also be forward or side leaning posture which can make walking difficult. In some cases, degenerative scoliosis is associated with nerve pain in the legs, compounding the walking problems.
Initial treatment should be aimed at maintaining strength and mobility through exercise like hydrotherapy. Pain killers such as anti-inflammatories (Nurofen, Mobic etc) and even strong analgesics can be useful if used carefully. Walking aids such as sticks, and frames can be very helpful.
Surgery is available for degenerative scoliosis and is considered appropriate for severe deformity, or if there is associated nerve pain that makes life intolerable. Surgery usually involves a major procedure and a week or so in hospital followed by rehabilitation before going home again.
Spinal fusion is becoming more common for a variety of reasons and conditions. Unfortunately, the result of multiple fusion procedures can be deformity of the spine, leaving a person with bent posture and possibly difficulty walking because of that posture. In some cases, there may also be persistent nerve pain in the legs.
Treatment of post-operative spinal deformity should be aimed at maintaining strength and mobility through exercise like hydrotherapy. Pain killers such as anti-inflammatories (Nurofen, Mobic etc) and even strong analgesics can be useful if used carefully. Walking aids such as sticks, and frames can be very helpful.
Surgery can correct post-operative spinal deformity, though this is often a complex procedure and requires a week or more in hospital with rehabilitation afterwards.