Kyphosis and Scoliosis Surgeries

Kyphosis and scoliosis are conditions which cause abnormal curvature of the spine leading to various symptoms such back pain, stiffness, disfigurement, uneven shoulders, hips etc. Kyphosis is an excessive forward rounding of the back and scoliosis is an exaggerated sideways curvature of the spine. Most cases of kyphosis and scoliosis may be mild and may not present with any signs and symptoms, though some severe cases can lead to complications.

Surgeries are indicated for these conditions when conservative treatment methods including medication and physical therapy do not provide pain relief or improvement in the condition. Different surgical approaches are used in each case, based on the severity of the patient’s age, severity of the condition, and overall health.  A surgical team of doctors determines the most appropriate approach after taking all these factors into consideration.

Surgeries are customized according to the patient’s needs as each patient is affected differently by scoliosis and kyphosis. However, the main procedures involved in the surgical management of kyphosis and scoliosis include:

Spinal reconstructive surgery

Although there are different types of spinal reconstructive surgeries, they all have common goals including: Maximum possible restoration of normal spine curvature, prevention of curvature from worsening, provide relief from nerve root compression and protection of the spine from further damage. 

Spinal decompression

Spinal decompression is a procedure which involves removal of any obstructing material in the spinal column causing nerve impingement. Compression of nerve roots can lead to various symptoms such as pain and weakness in the legs, arms and back. Decompression helps to relieve pressure from these nerves and improves spine functioning. Different kinds of decompression techniques include laminectomy, foraminotomy and disctectomy. One of these techniques may be used for kyphosis and scoliosis surgeries.

Spinal correction

Restoration of normal curvature is an important aspect in kyphosis and scoliosis surgeries. Correction surgeries for spinal alignment are performed using screws, rods, and plates to improve stability. Normal spine curvature is less likely to cause nerve compression. Spinal correction is most cases is followed by a spinal fusion procedure.

Spinal fusion

Spinal reconstructive surgeries for kyphosis and scoliosis are always accompanied by spinal fusion procedures. Spinal fusion involves placement of bone graft between the vertebrae to promote fusion gradually over time. The screws and rods help to hold the vertebrae in place while new bone grows. In severe cases, fusion may involve multiple vertebrae for stabilization of the spine.


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