Degenerative lumbar scoliosis associated with spinal stenosis

Spine J. Jul-Aug 2007;7(4):428-36. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2006.07.015. Epub 2007 Feb 28.


Background context: Degenerative de novo scoliosis is commonly present in older adult patients with spinal pain. The degenerative process including disc bulging, facet arthritis, and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy contributes to the appearance of symptoms of spinal stenosis in these patients.

Purpose: The etiology, prevalence, biomechanics, classification, symptomatology, and treatment of degenerative lumbar scoliosis in association with spinal stenosis are reviewed.

Study design: Review study.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of studies focused on all parameters concerning degenerative scoliosis associated with stenosis.

Results: There is a variety of treatment methods of degenerative scoliosis based on symptomatology and radiologic measurements of scoliosis and stenosis. Satisfactory clinical results reported in relevant retrospective studies after operative treatment range from 83% to 96% but with increased percentage of complications. An algorithm for operative treatment corresponding to a newly proposed classification system of degenerative lumbar scoliosis with associated canal stenosis is presented.

Conclusions: There is an increasing prevalence of degenerative scoliosis in the aged population. Even though the exact percentage of patients with symptomatology of spinal stenosis is not known, the main goal is to provide pain relief and improved functional lifestyle with minimum intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / adverse effects
  • Pain / etiology
  • Palliative Care
  • Scoliosis / complications*
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology
  • Scoliosis / therapy
  • Spinal Stenosis / complications*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed