20 Mar Overview of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that occurs when the spine curves to the side (right or left). It most often occurs during the growth spurt in teenagers, just before puberty. Most scoliosis has no known cause and is known as idiopathic scoliosis. Although most cases are mild, some scoliosis can become severe with growth and gradually become disabling.
In severe cases of scoliosis, the extreme curvature of the spine can reduce the space in the chest, leading to difficulties in lung function. Scoliosis is usually monitored closely with the help of x-rays to determine if the curvature in the spine is getting worse. Some individuals may require the use of a brace to prevent the curve from worsening and in more severe cases, surgery may be needed to prevent the worsening of the curvature or to decrease the degree of curvature.
Traditionally, surgery for scoliosis usually requires a large incision to allow visual and physical access to the deformity, to correct the deformity by performing corrective resections and to ultimately achieve the alignment that is desired for the patient. These procedures require long operative times and may involve a high amount of blood loss and a prolonged hospital stay, followed by a long course of rehabilitation. The evolution of minimally invasive surgery has made it possible that a less traumatic procedure could be performed for scoliosis patients and achieve the same results.
Minimally invasive surgery for scoliosis may be an endoscopic procedure which uses the insertion of a small camera to allow the surgeon visual access throughout the procedure. This procedure is performed through several small incisions rather than one long incision as in traditional spinal surgery, the camera also improves the visualization of the general anatomy. Like all other minimally invasive surgeries, this procedure provides the advantages of smaller scars, less blood loss, less pain after surgery, shorter hospitalization, reduced infection rates, faster recovery time and an earlier return to routines and activities for patients.
Another option for minimally invasive scoliosis correction involves the Inspired Spine OLLIF procedure. The incisions at each level are tiny, and the minimally invasive spinal surgeon uses real time x-ray to identify the appropriate landmarks. The blood loss from the OLLIF procedure is 90% less than traditional open procedures, and length of stay is typically 50% less too!
After the surgery, the patient may be required to stay several days after the surgery. Some amount of pain and discomfort is expected and can be treated with pain medication. Instructions will also be provided regarding back care after the surgery. Physical therapy or rehabilitation is precribed to help patients with better recovery.
It is important to follow instructions regarding treatment and follow-up appointments. The spinal curvature will still be present after surgery but should no longer be noticeable.
Adult scoliosis correction is possible now with the Inspired Spine procedure with a much lower rate of complications and faster recovery. Call us today for a complimentary MRI review and consultation!
- Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. John Hopkins Medicine. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/orthopaedic/minimally_invasive_scoliosis_surgery_161,103/. Accessed 3/5/2017.
- Marco RAW. Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. http://www.rexmarcomd.com/patient-info/adult-and-pediatric-scoliosis/minimally-invasive-scoliosis-surgery/. Accessed 3/5/2017.