The spine is made of a stack of bones called vertebrae. When looked at from behind, the spine should appear straight. However, if you suffer from scoliosis, your spine will look abnormal, typically with an S-shaped or C-shaped curve, and appear to be leaning to one side.
If you have a slight curve in your spine, it will not cause many problems and should be kept under observation. However, if the curve is greater than 25 to 30 degrees, it needs intervention. Depending on the severity of the deformity and the degree of the curve, it can cause one shoulder to be higher than the other, an uneven waistline, or lung compression.
Scoliosis treatment includes bracing and back surgery. Bracing is recommended when scoliosis curves are between 20-50 degrees in growing children. Having a curve greater than 50 degrees indicates the need for surgery.
If your orthopedic physician has recommended surgery, here is what you can expect.
Before Scoliosis Surgery
In the preoperative area, a nurse will check your vital signs, weight, blood sugar level, and your pregnancy status (if applicable). The team will ask you to change into a surgical gown. Your risks for undergoing general anesthesia will be checked, and an IV catheter will be placed. The anesthesia team will put you to sleep when you enter the surgery room, place a breathing tube, and position you for scoliosis surgery.
During Scoliosis Surgery
Your surgeon will perform scoliosis surgery in the following steps:
- Your surgeon will make an incision at the surgery site, and muscles will be moved aside to expose your spinal vertebrae.
- They will roughen up the vertebrae, which will help promote bone growth and fusion.
- Then, your surgeon will place a bone graft between vertebrae to help with bone fusion.
- Your surgeon will place screws on both sides of the vertebrae and connect them with rods to help hold the spinal bones in correct alignment. Over time, the vertebrae will fuse and form a solid rigid bone.
- Later, the muscles will be moved back, and the incision will be closed.
After Scoliosis Surgery
The team will bring you into the post-procedure recovery room when your surgery is done. In a few hours, you will awaken as the anesthesia wears off. Your orthopedic doctor may ask you to stay in the hospital for a few days. Most patients stay for three to seven days after scoliosis surgery. The time to stay in the hospital will depend on how well you are feeling after the surgery and how much help and care you will get when back home.
Since scoliosis treatment is a major procedure with manipulation of spinal bones and tissue, you are likely to feel pain for a few weeks, although it will decrease in intensity every day. Pain medications prescribed by your doctor will help alleviate pain during recovery. Most patients can get out of bed and walk around 3 to 4 days after surgery.
Scoliosis Treatment In Central Maryland
If you have an abnormally curved spine and experience symptoms due to it, put your trust in the highly qualified and skilled orthopedic doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. Our fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeons can offer you complete treatment of your scoliosis by employing the most advanced, sophisticated, and effective treatment methods. They are highly experienced in treating a wide range of spinal conditions and offer personalized treatment.
Have a question about scoliosis treatment or want to schedule an appointment? Call us at (410) 644-1880 or toll-free at (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663). Alternatively, make an appointment by filling out our convenient appointment request form.