Characterized by a sideways curve in the spine, scoliosis is a condition commonly observed in adolescents and children. The treatment for the disorder may take several forms depending on the dynamics of the case, such as the type of scoliosis and severity of the curve. In some cases, the doctor may feel that scoliosis surgery is the best option. With that in mind, in this blog post, we answer five commonly asked questions about scoliosis surgery. Read on.
1. When is the surgery scheduled?
Scoliosis surgery is not typically performed on an emergency basis, therefore you can discuss your schedule and commitments with your surgeon to work out a time that works for you. If you chose to wait to have surgery, it is important to regularly follow up with you surgeon so they can observe any sudden increase in the deformity.
2. Which is better – allograft or harvested bone?
While harvesting bone is still a great option, many scoliosis surgeons these days advocate the use of allograft bone. That is because harvesting bone can result in pain at the place from where the bone was taken, and it can persist for an extended period. Harvesting bone also has other risks which are rare but could include infection, nerve irritation, bleeding, or even fracture.
3. Will I need more than one surgery?
The number of surgeries needed to correct a curve depends on a number of factors. Though most surgeries are intended to be one-time procedures, 4-13 percent of patients have to undergo the procedure again within the first few years after the first procedure. A small number of individuals may require multiple surgeries.
4. Will I develop back pain in the future?
Though some individuals who undergo scoliosis surgery report ongoing back pain in the lower or upper back, in most cases it can be easily managed with exercise and other simple treatments. Research tells us revision surgery or removal of instrumentation is required in 3 to 10 percent of cases, over a 20-year period.
5. Will my growth be affected by the surgery?
As the scoliosis surgery involves fusing only a part of the spine, the growth of the remaining spine usually remains unaffected. Moreover, scoliosis surgery is usually performed only after a child’s spinal growth is complete, so there is little to no effect on the height of the individual.
Although scoliosis may seem like a scary diagnosis, many cases physicians can manage it without surgery. If you or someone you know has developed scoliosis, contact the team at the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center to connect with a trusted spine surgeon near you. Simply call 888-608-4762 or book an appointment online.
NOTE: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center.