Caring For You

Care at Every Age

Adults (41-60)

While scoliosis is generally diagnosed in childhood, existing curves can progress as an adult, or new curves can develop. For females, this is especially true after menopause. Hormonal changes, decreased bone quality and/or loss of disc space can lead to changes in the curvature of the spine. Therefore, it is important to continue monitoring scoliosis and kyphosis throughout the lifespan.

As we age, there are many degenerative changes that occur in the spine. The facet joints become arthritic and intervertebral discs begin to wear out, causing the bones to rub against each other which can be very painful. For people with scoliosis, the curve can start to “buckle” over time due to uneven loads put on the discs as a result of the curve. In response to degeneration, the spine will grow bone spurs in an effort to strengthen the spine and prevent movement. The human body is amazing in that it has these methods of healing itself, however this process can be slow and sometimes frustrating. There are many conservative therapies to help manage back pain while the body finishes this process.

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!!!”

- Pat
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.”