Surgery for Treatment of Scoliosis in Edina, MN
The pros and cons of this surgical procedure
Surgery is usually the treatment of last resort for patients with scoliosis. When curves become too large and are rapidly progressive surgery might be the only option.
In adolescents with scoliosis when the curve in the thoracic spine (mid back) exceeds 60 degrees, or the curve in the lumbar spine (low back) is greater than 50 degrees, it is time to consider surgery. Surgery is done to physically straighten the spine and install steel rods that are attached to the vertebrae (spinal bones) to then keep the spine straight. Of course, as with all surgery, there is a risk of complications such as infection and difficulties with anesthesia, but these risks must be balanced against the negative health consequences of allowing scoliosis to progress. Large scoliosis curves are associated with heart and lung issues and significant disability as the patient ages. The best course of action is to do everything possible to prevent the patient from ever getting bad enough to require surgery.
- Spinal fusion surgery is indicated when the curve in the thoracic spine exceeds 60 degrees and the curve in the lumbar spine exceeds 50 degrees.
- Fusion surgery is done to straighten the scoliosis and prevent it from progressing.
- Surgery has its risks, but so does leaving large curves uncorrected.
No one wants to have surgery and sometimes it is necessary, but there are often things that can be done to make sure that the person never progresses to the point where they need surgery. The combination of scoliosis-specific exercise, mirror-image tractions therapies, chiropractic adjustments, and sometimes bracing can prevent the patient from ever requiring surgery. At ScoliTech we do everything possible to keep you or your child off the operating table.