We know it may be tempting to use what seems to be a quick fix, such as back surgery, for your child’s scoliosis, but we would like to make an argument for correcting any misalignments in their upper two vertebrae before you consider scoliosis surgery.
In order to make that argument, it’s important to understand the two types of spinal fusion surgeries that may be performed on your child.
Scoliosis and the Posterior Surgical Approach
The first type of surgery is the Posterior Surgical Approach, which is making a long incision along the back, the length of the Thoracic Spine. This approach consists of:
Removing the muscles from the spine
Inserting screws and rods to reduce the curvature
Using the bone from a parent, the child’s hips, or a cadaver to fuse the spine together
In children 10 to 12 years of age, the surgeon may also recommend an anterior release of the disc space. This involves the removal of the disc from the anterior column, which is the part of the spine facing the front of the body, so the child can continue to grow. The bone can then be added to the disc space to be fused together.
Scoliosis and the Anterior Surgical Approach
The other approach is to make the incision in the front, but this is only an option for those who have scoliosis at the thoracolumbar junction, which is the junction between the mid-spine and the lower-spine.
This involves an open incision in the front and the removal of a rib
The diaphragm may also be released from the chest wall and spine for a better view of the thoracic and lumbar spine
The discs are removed to loosen the spine
Screws are placed in the vertebral bodies
Rods are used to […]