Spinal Deformity Surgery
To correct a
spinal deformity, surgery is sometimes recommended. Doctor’s make the decision
to recommended surgery to correct spinal deformities, such as scoliosis or
kyphosis, based on several different conditions. Spinal deformity surgery is
typically recommended when a spinal curvature is continuing to progress despite
more conservative methods of treatment, including bracing and casting.
The problem often encountered in performing spinal deformity surgery is
preventing the deformity from continuing to progress without compromising growth
in a child whose spine is still growing. In many cases, this complication is
unavoidable because most spinal deformity surgeries involve spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion surgery, in which two or more vertebrae are fused into one solid
mass of bone, stop the spinal deformity, but also alter growth in the portion
of the spine in which spinal deformity surgery was performed.
Spinal deformity surgery may include the following procedures:
- In Situ Spinal Fusion: In this spinal deformity surgery, vertebral joints are replaced with a bone graft and when the spine heals, the remaining vertebrae are fused into one solid piece of bone. This prevents further spinal curvature or deformity by stopping the growth of the spine. In situ refers to the spine being fused in its current state, without performing correction of any deformity. In situ spinal fusion is typically performed early in the course of spinal curvatures as spinal deformity surgery, before severe deformities have developed.
- Hemi-epiphysiodesis Surgery: This spinal deformity surgery is used to treat scoliosis by limiting growth on one side of the spine.
- Hemivertebra Resection: When congenital spinal deformities are caused by abnormally formed vertebrae, spinal deformity surgery is sometimes recommended to remove the misshapen vertebrae and perform spinal fusion with bone grafts.
- Growth Friendly Surgery: Spinal fusion of the thoracic or mid-spine area can limit growth of the spine and it can also limit the growth of the lungs. Growth friendly spinal deformity surgeries are those that address the deformity, while attempting to limit the effect the fusion has on the respiratory system.
- Smith-Peterson Osteotomy: In this spinal deformity, a portion of bone is removed from vertebrae to allow them to align correctly.