Surgeries are quickly being reinvented towards a “minimally invasive” goal, because it causes shorter incisions, less damage to the muscles and ligaments, less blood trauma, and a faster recovery time. For those with scoliosis, the spinal curvatures that exceed average capacity can create worse case scenarios if not managed, resulting in serious disability and difficult lung function. Minimally invasive surgeries require new technologies and expertise to perform correctly, and minimally invasive scoliosis surgery has become the desired standard in orthopedic care.
Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is endoscopic surgery, meaning it will be performed through scopes, where surgeons can gain access to the site that needs treatment. The goals of minimally invasive scoliosis surgery are to reduce the spine’s abnormal curvature and prevent it from progressing further. The treatment’s success would highly depend on the type of scoliosis and what degree of progression the spine has gone through.
Adult vs. Pediatric Scoliosis
For both children and adults, their condition symptoms can differ depending on the progression of the spine. Because of the biological differences, both types of scoliosis will have different circumstances surrounding the condition. Understanding these conditions can best help determine whether minimally invasive surgery is needed.
Pediatric Scoliosis: Between the ages of 3 to 17, the back can produce a curving of the spine that causes deformities, either present at birth or developed over time. Congenital scoliosis, when discovered at birth, will present symptoms later on throughout childhood. These symptoms can vary but include symptoms such as:
- A Hump, “S” shape to the spine
- Uneven shoulders and hips
- Trouble breathing
- Poor muscular control over the spine
- Back/leg pain
Adult Scoliosis: Adults with scoliosis will require different treatments as the spine’s development has reached its maturity. Scoliosis in adults will often experience pain and stiffness, and the condition can be accompanied by osteoporosis and play a contributing factor in advanced disc degeneration.
For children with scoliosis, braces treatment can work as a non-invasive alternative for their needs as their body grows and develops. However, surgery can present an option for them if severe scoliosis develops with a 40-degree angle curvature that cannot be treated with braces. Adults with scoliosis may also find minimally invasive scoliosis surgery an option.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works
In spine surgery, spine surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to help people recover in a shorter time and allow for a quicker time going home. Smaller incisions about half an inch in length are made to reduce scarring and allow surgeons to use special surgical tools into these tiny incisions. When repairing a disc or vertebrae, surgeons will avoid the muscles and tissues surrounding the spinal region to avoid harm and use minimal access spinal technologies to access the area and increase accuracy. In many cases, surgeons will perform a spinal fusion that reaches down to the spine’s sacrum or bottom part.
For more information, all details for this form of surgery can be discussed at Dr. John Czerwein’s office in North Scituate, RI, so schedule an appointment today to learn more.