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Adult Spinal Deformity
Unlike teenagers with spinal deformity who rarely complain of pain, adult patients with deformity present with a variety of symptoms. Low back pain and stiffness are the two most common symptoms. In addition, numbness and cramping in the legs and shooting leg pain due to pinched nerves can occur. These symptoms are due to degeneration of the discs and joints leading to narrowing of the openings for the spinal sac and nerves (spinal stenosis). Loss of sagittal balance causes the patients to compensate by bending their hips and knees to try and maintain an upright posture. This puts greater strain on the muscles of the lower back and legs causing the patients to fatigue early. There is a gradual loss of function and a decrease in the activities of daily living.