The operation for scoliosis is a spinal fusion. The basic idea is to realign and fuse together the curved vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone. This will stop growth completely in the abnormal segment of the spine and prevent the curve from getting worse.
Scoliosis is a sideway curve in the spine commonly seen in children and adolescents. There are several different types of scoliosis. By far, the most common type is "idiopathic," which means the exact cause is not known. Treatment for scoliosis may take several forms depending on the age of the patient, the type of scoliosis and the tendency of the curve to worsen. Severe scoliosis needs surgical correction to prevent low back pain later in life, trunk deformity, and even daily activities limitation.
Scoliosis surgery typically has the following goals:
- Stop the curve’s progression. When scoliosis requires surgery, it is usually because the deformity is continuing to worsen. Therefore, scoliosis surgery should at the very least prevent the curve from getting any worse.
- Reduce the deformity. Depending on how much flexibility is still in the spine, scoliosis surgery can often de-rotate the abnormal spinal twisting in addition to correcting the lateral curve by about 50% to 70%. These changes can help the person stand up straighter and reduce the rib hump in the back.
- Maintain trunk balance. For any changes made to the spine’s positioning, the surgeon will also take into account overall trunk balance by trying to maintain as much of the spine’s natural front/back (lordosis/kyphosis) curvature while also keeping the hips and legs as even as possible.
The scoliosis correction surgery will be done in a traditional open approach, which means a longitudinal posterior incision will be made and to exposure the spine bony structure. The correction happens when metal rods insertion. The rods are attached to the spine by screws, hooks, and/or wires. Metal rods are typically used to hold the spine in place until fusion happens.
Risks and complications
- Infection: Antibiotics are regularly given to the patient before, during, and often after surgery to lessen the risk of infections.
- Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected, but this is not typically significant. A portion of the blood lost during surgery may be saved and given back to the patient. This is known as cell saver. It is not unusual for a patient having spine surgery to require a blood transfusion even if a cell saver is used.
- Pseudarthrosis: Older teenagers and adults who smoke are more likely to develop a pseudarthrosis. This is a condition where there is not enough bone formation. It can cause pain or rod breakage. If this occurs, a second surgery may be needed in order to obtain a solid fusion.
- Nerve damage:It is possible that the nerves or blood vessels may be injured during these operations. The nerve function will be monitor throughout surgery to lessen the risk. These complications are very rare.
The cost depends on how many levels are being treated. On average, it will cost 170,000 NTD. Prices are subject to change without prior notice, and need to pay in accordance with the actual medical expenses.