Monday, August 13, 2012

How a Spine Surgeon Can Treat Scoliosis

Scoliosis is defined as a condition that creates an abnormal curving of an individual's spine. Under normal conditions, a person's spine has some degree of curvature to its appearance. That said, when viewed from the front, it should appear to be straight. When scoliosis sets in, more pronounced curves set in to the bones, creating either a "C" or an "S" shape to the shape of the spinal system. While the condition is seen in both males and females, it is approximately twice as common in the latter. It is typically developed after the age of ten and is thought to be hereditary in nature. While there are several treatment options available, fusion performed by a spine surgeon is often very effective.


To perform fusion, a spine surgeon will use a system of rods, hooks, screws, or wires and attach them along the backbone. Through this system, the bone system will be straightened out and small pieces of bone will be placed over the existing infrastructure. Over time, the hope is that the new bone pieces will eventually grow together with the natural bone, which will fuse the skeletal structure into the proper position, eliminating the curvature. It is a very invasive, significant surgery. While there are several methods and techniques available, the most popular technique is to go in through the back, which is called the posterior approach.


To prevent infection, the patient is usually given a series of antibiotics both before and after the operation takes place. The patient should expect to spend at least a few days in the hospital immediately following the surgery. During this time, they will be encouraged to gradually increase their amount of movement under supervision. A spine surgeon may recommend they be fitted with a brace to stabilize them during recovery, but this isn't as commonly used today as it used to be. The patient should be up to the task of dressing, eating, and walking around before leaving the hospital.


A spine surgeon may recommend fusion for a child with a severe curvature in their spinal system that he sees as likely to progress further, an adult in the same situation, or an individual with a slight curve that is not responding to brace treatment. Doctors will look at the patient's age, where the curve is located, and where they are in relation to puberty when deciding whether or not to move forward with an operation. Adults who suffer from breathing problems or crippling back pain in relation to their spinal curvature may also be candidates for surgery.

When looking for a spine surgeon Syracuse residents should consider both the surgeon's level of experience and the quality of the facilities. To learn more about your options for scoliosis treatment, visit


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