Scoliosis Spine Surgery
Scoliosis is curvature of the spine toward the side. Actually, it is not disease but abnormality developed in the spinal column. Normally, scoliosis rarely cause pain but it results in bad posture as visibly curved back, uneven shoulders, difference in legs length. Scoliosis spine surgery may require in the most severe cases when degree of curvature is more than 40. Spine Center of Clinic of Braunschweig, Germany offer corrective spine surgery for scoliosis both for adult and children.
Common Types of Scoliosis
There are many types of scoliosis but the two most common are:
- Idiopathic scoliosis. As a rule, this type of back curvature is developed in adolescent (age 10-15) in a period of active growing. The causes of idiopathic scoliosis are unknown.
- Degenerative scoliosis. Scoliosis rarely occurs in adult but when it happens, the most likely type is degenerative scoliosis. It is caused by degeneration of the facet (vertebral) joints. The joints are deteriorated with age and cause the spine shifting to one side.
Surgery for Idiopathic Scoliosis
The surgery for idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents is only recommended when the condition causes related physiological problems. In some cases, curved spine can invade to the space required for normal functioning of the heart and lungs. In others, it can cause abdominal problems.
In smaller children, who are still growing, surgery is advised only when it is absolutely necessary. The surgery is intended to insert the rod controlling the growth of spine. The surgery is normally done with minimally invasive methods through a small incision and it should be regularly revised to change the length of the rod as the spine is growing. In age when the growth of spine is stopped the rods may be removed and fusion surgery is done if needed.
In adolescent and younger adults, when their spine has stopped growing fusion surgery may be advised. Fusion is called a kind of operations when two or more bones is jointed, or fused, together. In case of spinal fusion two vertebras are jointed to reduce flexibility of the spine. During spinal fusion for scoliosis a surgeon uses on of instrumentation systems that includes the hooks, screws and rods intended to hold the spine and reduce curvature. After those devices are installed, the surgeon adds bones taken from other parts of patient’s body to provoke the fusion process. Normally, it takes 3-5 months (sometimes more) to fuse the bone together. After the process of fusion has finished, the bones already hold the spine in upright position. Then, the hooks and screws are removed but the rods in the most cases stay inside, as pulling them out is required larger surgery. The rods may be taken out if they cause irritation of surrounding tissues.
Surgery for Degenerative Scoliosis
Scoliosis which is developed in older age is referred as degenerative scoliosis. Degenerative adult scoliosis has lesser Cobb angle than idiopathic scoliosis and does not develop compensatory curve in other spinal regions. It is often accompanied with spinal stenosis. Patients with adult scoliosis often have complaints of pain and neurological symptoms. Surgery for adult scoliosis is decided when other treatments do not relieve pain and scoliosis is progressing. Another reason to have scoliosis surgery is when such neurological symptoms present as weakness and numbness.
When surgical treatment is decided for degenerative scoliosis there are may be a few possible options as:
- Decompression alone
- Decompression with short fusion
- Decompression with long fusion
Also, there are several approaches are applied for surgical treatment as
- Posterior approach (from the back)
- Anterior interbody approach (from the front through the abdomen)
- Direct lateral interbody approach (from the side)
- Posterolateral (from the back and side)
Among the factors to be taken into consideration when choosing what kind of surgery to prefer are co-morbidities (stenosis, osteoporosis, cardiopulmonary diseases, thrombosis etc.), stiffness of curve, coronal and sagittal imbalance. The surgeon experience is very important for successful scoliosis spine surgery.
Recovery after Scoliosis Spine Surgery
Presently scoliosis surgery is mostly done by minimally invasive method that reduces recovery time significantly. As every spine is individual, recover differs depending on surgery complexity, type of approach and other health factors. Most of younger patients get up from bed after 1-2 days, can be discharged from a hospital in one week and go back to study in 2-3 weeks. In older adults it can take more time for complete recovery, till 1-2 months.
Scoliosis Spine Surgeons of Clinic of Braunschweig
Philosophy of the team of spine surgeons of Clinic of Braunschweig is giving proper treatment to their patients accordingly to the results of thorough examination. Our specialists advise scoliosis surgery only when it is vital and do their best to perform the procedure on the highest professional level. If you have any questions on scoliosis treatment for you or your child, please contact us and apply for consultation.