Scoliosis is a spine condition that results in an unusual curvature of the spine. In minor cases, the effects are typically cosmetic but it can also be seen in more severe cases that can be both uncomfortable and perhaps even life-threatening. Although there are a number of different treatments available for scoliosis, if it is severe enough, scoliosis surgery may be considered. This is typically the case if the curvature is at least 40 degrees will be available at the doctor’s discretion. It can be a complicated procedure.
During the scoliosis surgery, the procedure will take place with an incision in the area of the back but your doctor may also need to make an incision in the chest if you have a problem with a stiff or rigid spine. During the procedure, a two rod system will be inserted into the area of the spine that will help to hold the spine in its proper location and will also serve to fuse the spine as well.
The individual vertebrae are fitted with hooks or screws in order to hold the rods in place. In addition, those hooks and screws will provide the ability for the doctor to move the spine into proper alignment and to hold it in position, long after the surgery has been completed. The rods are there to provide the support for the spine and the procedure is successful if the spine is fused together into that position.
Once the scoliosis surgery has been completed, the spine will appear to be much straighter than before the surgery. The rods will not be removed from the patient, but will be left to provide additional stability and it is also to avoid having another surgery on the same area as well. The recovery time may be a week or longer in the hospital, depending upon the condition of the patient.
Even after the patient is allowed to go home, however, there are going to be severe restrictions on mobility in order to allow the spine to heal properly. Those restrictions may last for several months or perhaps even longer, during which time additional evaluation will be provided by a qualified physician.