While scoliosis is generally diagnosed in childhood, as we age, there can be a progression of an existing curve or the formation of a new curved spine. For females, this is especially true after menopause. The progression or formation of a new curve can come from hormonal changes, decreased bone quality and/or loss of disc space. This is especially true if there is an existing curve as the weight on your spine has not been equally distributed over your lifetime. The same is true for kyphosis curves and their progression as we age. There are several conservative measures that can be taken to help with the chronic back pain associated with this. Surgical correction may be an option, however, bracing is not an option for correction.
To optimize spine health, we recommend that women over the age of 51 take 1200mg of calcium + vitamin D daily. For men age 50-70 years old, it is recommended to take 1000mg of calcium + vitamin D per day. As we get older, it becomes more difficult for the body to absorb calcium. This can cause degeneration in bone density, which may lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis. These conditions can cause abnormal spine curvature, including scoliosis and kyphosis. While it is not common for men over the age of 40 to lose bone density as rapidly as women, there may be a slight risk for some men.
41 year old Frances – underwent kyphosis surgery for a T2-T12 curve measuring 86 degrees with lumbar curve measuring 69 degrees
“I recently had someone ask how long ago my fusion was performed and I realized how quickly the three plus years have passed.
I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful care and fantastic surgical outcome. When I tell folks I am fused from T2 to L1, they often have many questions. When I share I am virtually pain free, they are speechless.
Many years ago, as my kyphosis got worse, I gave up my love of hiking and backpacking. It was too painful to hike let alone carry a 35lb pack for miles. I am thrilled to share some recent pics. My long term goal is to thru hike the AT or the Pacific Crest Trail.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!”
56 year old Pat – underwent scoliosis surgery for a 48 degree upper curve and 46 degree lower curve with degeneration
“Hi Dr. Hey, just thought I would let you know that I just returned from a 10-day vacation in the British Virgin Islands…we spent 5 days on a 51′ catamaran sailing boat. I was a bit nervous at first, but I did so
well balancing on the boat moving all around. We went snorkeling and climbing on rocks. The only problem I had was getting back into the dinghy after snorkeling! But it went just fine! Lots and lots of laughing. I would love for anyone considering this surgery to know that there is life after surgery even at my age!!! There really isn’t anything I can’t do. Thank you again for giving me a full life!!!”
57 year old Neal – underwent L4- iliac wing instrumentation and fusion
“Dr. Hey, What a week it has been at Atlantic Beach. Many miles a day walking, biking and kayaking. I am doing things I thought I would never do again. I even put the kayak in and out of the water by myself! Every day I am thankful for miraculous healing and for your work.”