About the Surgery
Spinal fusion is the most common surgery to correct severe scoliosis. For some patients it means freedom from a brace they may have been wearing.
Spinal surgery may help spinal correction for patients with scoliosis, a condition in which the spine develops one or more abnormal, side-to-side curves.
All treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient, and will form part of your consultation with your healthcare professional.
Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits, indications, precautions, clinical results, and other important medical information that pertains to scoliosis surgery.
Nothing can replace a conversation with your doctor. However, here you will find a few common questions about scoliosis and scoliosis surgery.
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine develops one or more abnormal, side-to-side curves. These curves may affect the body's overall balance and alignment, as well as possibly lead to other physical and health problems.
A certain degree of curvature is normal in the human spine. When you look at your body from the side, you can see the gentle inward and outward curves of the neck, upper back and lower back. These are necessary for keeping the body properly balanced and aligned over the pelvis.
But when viewed from the back, the vertebrae of a healthy spine should form a straight line. In someone with scoliosis, the spine looks more like an "S" or a "C" than an "I." The spinal bones involved in the curve also may rotate to some degree, which can further contribute to the appearance of an uneven waist or shoulders.
Surgery, specifically, spinal fusion, may be an option for severe curves and for curves that have not responded to non-surgical intervention. Spinal fusion involves placing graft material between the affected bones in the spine to encourage them to fuse, or join together.
Instrumentation, such as screws, rods, and connectors, are implanted along the treated area. The instrumentation is key because it creates an "internal cast" to support the vertebral structures and redirect stress properly along the spine during the healing and fusing process.
Ultimately, the goal is to halt the progression of the curve and reduce spinal deformity, to the extent possible, restoring proper spinal stability and alignment.
The exact cause of scoliosis is still unknown. There has been substantial research into the potential causes of scoliosis, including genetic factors, tissue growth abnormalities, vertebral disorders, and central nervous system problems.
Generally, the goals of scoliosis surgery are to straighten the spine to some degree, to provide a balanced spine, and to achieve a fusion over that area to stop further curvature.
The incision is just as long as the number of vertebrae that will be fused. Discuss this specifically with the surgeon. The appearance of the scar after scoliosis surgery is very dependent upon a multitude of factors, including how your body heals.
Often, the rib prominence is the most cosmetically undesirable part of a scoliotic deformity. The rib prominence may be corrected as part of the scoliosis operation. It could also require a procedure called thoracoplasty, where a segment of the rib is removed.
This website is intended to be educational and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool. It is not intended to replace the information provided to you by your healthcare providers and does not constitute medical advice. The information may not be directly applicable for your individual clinical circumstance. Please talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.