Treating scoliosis requires multiple approaches, as scoliosis can develop anywhere throughout the spine anatomy. Open surgery methods are a commonly used type of treatment, and operations on the spine’s posterior region are the most used and reliable forms of surgery. Posterior scoliosis surgery, whether through minimally invasive methods or open surgical methods, requires understanding the type of scoliosis, the ease of approach, the curvature location, and the surgeon’s preference.
Why Go Through the Posterior Region?
The posterior region of the spine, or the rear position when looking at the spine through a diagram, helps provide surgeons and orthopedics with a unique perspective about the spine’s curvature, disc locations, relationship with muscles and nerves, and how a person’s spine is affecting one’s overall health. For surgeons correcting spinal conditions such as scoliosis, the posterior region is the easiest to access because all interconnecting nerves, muscles, and related conditions can be seen and avoided through minor incisions and surgical techniques.
When handling scoliosis patients, surgeons need to have access to the vertebrae and discs affected by the condition, and approaching surgery through the posterior region can help prevent surgical failures and other complications.
How is Posterior Scoliosis Surgery Performed?
Posterior scoliosis surgery requires the person to be administered under general anesthesia, and once the patient is placed into position, and then will proceed with the following:
- Three-inch-long incisions will be made down the thoracic or middle section of the back. The length and location will depend on the extent of the curvature for these incisions to be made.
- The muscles will need to be separated from the spinal vertebrae to access it. The posterior approach reduces the amount of obstruction lifted and thus reduces the chance of developing musculoskeletal problems after the surgery.
- Once the spine is reached, the surgeon will perform a spinal fusion, which will involve taking parts of the discs affecting the vertebrate’s integrity and fusing it using orthopedic devices, connecting each part of the curve adjusting it to the contours of the device.
- The incision will then be closed once all parts of the fusion are in place and secured. Recovery after the surgery will typically take up to three months or longer, depending on what areas were performed and how the curvature heals overtime.
Who Can Benefit From Posterior Scoliosis Surgery?
Those with adult scoliosis can benefit from posterior scoliosis surgery if the condition has progressed severe enough to contribute towards other health problems, including the development of back arthritis and osteoporosis. Children with pediatric scoliosis may require surgery if, during their development, their back develops curvatures over 40-45 degrees, and previous treatments such as braces have not relieved symptoms.
All outcomes for posterior scoliosis surgery are specific to the patient, and establishing a relationship with your spinal care professional is crucial to the treatment’s success. For more information on posterior scoliosis surgery and other forms of treatment for adult and pediatric scoliosis, please visit Dr. John Czerwein’s office in North Scituate, RI, to schedule an appointment.