The surgical procedure is indicated after analyzing several factors such as the patient´s age, the degree of curvature or spinal deformity, whether or not there is pain and the skeletal maturity of the individual.
The usual surgery involves the installation of multiple screws in the spine that is joined together through rods and with that the deformity is corrected.
Usually the hospitalization period lasts from 5 to 6 days, but by the third day after surgery, ambulation must begin. This implies that the patient should get out of bed and walk with help initially.
Once at home, the relative rest period in patients younger than 25 years is usually three weeks. If it is an older patient, either the period of hospital stay or recovery may be a little longer.
To retake physical activity, you would have to wait between four months and a year, depending on each case. Surgery as a treatment for scoliosis has risks and benefits. Regarding the risks, they are currently quite controlled and are the usual for any type of intervention: infection of the surgical wound, some problems of healing or that the vertebrae in the long term do not stick with others which can cause the curve to increase again, but this is very exceptional.
With current technology, the risk of neurological damage is extremely rare. To avoid risks during surgery, a neurophysiological monitoring is carried out that tells doctors in each step they take if there is any abnormality in the conduction of the nerve roots that are coming from the spine.
The best scoliosis surgeon has the following credentials ;
1. Experience in treating children and adults
2. Also has experience in other types of spine treatments ie management of back pain, degenerate discs, pain management etc. Sometimes scoliosis surgeons become too focused on mechanics and and forget that there are other non-surgical options available and that scoliosis surgery is largely for cosmetic reasons only and does not impact on your life in the far majority of cases.
3. The surgeon should listen and examine you carefully to make sure the diagnosis is accurate. Quite often, the MRI scan or XRAY may show changes that have no symptoms and are not harmful. It is important that the doctor correlates your MRI scan findings with your symptoms.
4. The surgeon should always offer you non-operative methods of treatment first. These should include physical therapy, pain medications or pain relieving spinal injections. The only indications for urgent surgery are progressive nerve damage, severe unrelenting pain, spinal instability with risk of progressive spinal deformity, neurological damage to bowel or bladder nerves (Cauda equina syndrome)
5. The surgeon should have a list of other patients that he/she has treated with the same operation and you should not hesitate to ask to speak to other patients that have had the same proposed procedure.
6. The surgeon should have a range of experience and have a range of skills including pain management procedures, different types of spinal surgery and at least 5 years of experience at a consultant level.
7. The surgeon should have positive testimonials from independent websites or other patients who have undergone the same treatment.
It si rare for scoliosis to be rapidly progressive unless there is a serious underlying disorder. The surgeon should always try to find out the cause of the scoliosis and treat the underlying condition. In most cases of scoliosis, the cause is unkown and postural, however it can be caused by disc degeneration, fractures, infections, tumours in which case the scoliosis can continue to increase in magnitude and cause pain. In these cases, the more the curve progresses, the more complex the surgery becomes and the possibility of complications during and after the procedure also increases and therefore an expert opinion should be sought as soon as possible.
The London Spine Unit provides treatment of all spinal disorders. Our highly qualified specialists, like Mr. M. Akmal or Mr Shafafy, are top in their fields and are willing to give you the least invasive treatment to eliminate your pain and the cause of it. Contact us for more information and book an appointment at londonspineunit.com.