Scoliosis is a condition that causes the sideways curvature of the spine, typically in an S or C shape. Depending on its severity, it can cause back pain and other problems. In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery if all conservative treatments have failed.
It’s always best to know your options so that you can make an informed decision about your condition. Read on to learn more about the different surgical options for scoliosis treatment.
This scoliosis treatment permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the spine.
Your spine doctor will insert bone graft material in the space between the two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws, and rods may also be used to support the vertebrae and promote proper healing.
The following are the types of spinal fusions that a doctor or surgeon might recommend for patients with scoliosis:
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
This procedure involves making an incision to open the patient’s back and implanting two metal rods made of titanium to repair the abnormal curvature. Depending on the severity of the curvature, more than two rods may be required. Your doctor might use other tools like screws, hooks, or wires to ensure that the rods are stable and set in place.
The posterior approach is usually done in patients with double or triple curves in their spine. Younger patients and adults with sufficient bone strength are good candidates for this scoliosis treatment.
A back brace is not necessary after surgery for older patients. Meanwhile, for juvenile patients, a growing rod may be employed. A growing rod is an adjustable tool that a doctor attaches to a patient’s spine, which helps minimize, reverse, or prevent scoliosis.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
In ALIF, a doctor will access a patient’s spine from the front of their body. They will remove the disc between two vertebrae and insert either a bone graft or a bone graft substitute. There are specific abnormal curvatures that are ideally suited to this scoliosis treatment.
Many thoracolumbar curves or curvatures at the upper and lower spine are corrected using this approach. The metal rods that the surgeon uses will be placed along either side of the patient’s spine.
Anterior-Posterior Spinal Fusion
This surgery is beneficial to patients with severe stiff curves. It is also used in pediatric patients to prevent the crankshaft phenomenon. This phenomenon is a progressive spinal deformity that can occur after posterior spinal surgery in young patients with congenital scoliosis.
This procedure may be performed in one day. However, depending on your condition or doctor’s recommendation, you can have it done over two different days. As the name suggests, this scoliosis treatment will have the surgeon work on a patient’s spine from the front and back. If there are more than two curvatures, the surgeon will approach the less severe curve from the back.
Scoliosis patients often have a noticeable hump in the rib. Thoracoplasty or rib resection is usually performed at a later time after one scoliosis surgery to address this. This procedure helps reduce the size and severity of the patient’s rib hump.
This scoliosis treatment helps relieve pain and improve the patient’s appearance.
Osteotomies involve the cutting, removal, and alignment of spinal segments. This scoliosis treatment improves the correction of a spinal deformity.
Adult patients with rigid curves and children with significant curves are the best candidates for receiving this type of surgery. Osteotomy is also beneficial for patients who have had a prior spinal fusion to correct their spine alignment and flatback.
This procedure is needed when the deformity is not correctable with the use of instrumentation alone. Alternatively, this treatment option can be utilized if the patient shows little to no flexibility.
Vertebral Column Resection
This procedure is a type of osteotomy that helps correct the most rigid and complex of spinal deformities. This procedure involves the removal of one or more complete vertebrae using an anterior, posterior, or combined approach. Essentially, in this procedure, the spinal column is detached, realigned, and reconnected using implants.
Scoliosis Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axes, and Lapeer, MI
Surgery is a globally accepted treatment for scoliosis. The surgical treatment you will get depends on your doctor’s assessment of your condition and your specific needs.
If you’re looking for quality spine care, look no further than Ahlgren Spine Orthopedic Surgery. Under the leadership of Dr. Ahlgren, our team is sure to provide you with the finest healthcare. We will be with you from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you want to know more about our services, you may call us at (248) 215-8080. If you would like to schedule a consultation, you may use our online appointment request form. We look forward to treating your spinal concerns!