Scoliosis and kyphosis are the major deformities affecting spine. Scoliosis describes curved spine condition whereas kyphosis represents forward spine angulation. These spinal conditions may develop either in early childhood or adulthood. In extreme cases, the pain becomes intense and spine disability occurs. In such conditions, surgery is required to correct spine deformities. Spinal fusion is the surgery most commonly opted to treat both scoliosis and kyphosis. This surgery aims to join or fuse the spinal vertebrae. The results of this surgery lasts for a long period.
The blood samples and x-ray reports of the patient are carefully analyzed before surgery. The patient is kept under local or general anesthesia. In the surgery, a cut is made in the middle position of back. The muscles are moved aside to access the spine clearly. The vertebrae in the spine are loosened. This is done by removing the joints between the vertebrae. As the surface of this vertebrae becomes rough, new bones begin to form. This new bone is capable of filling the gaps between the vertebrae. Bone grafts are used to augment the spinal fusion. In this way, the spine is straightened. Metal implants such as rods, hooks, and screws are used to hold spine in neutral position. Following surgery completion, stitches are used to close the cut in the back. The duration for surgery depends upon the severity of spine condition. The usual time is 4-6 hours.
Proper rest is essential after surgery for proper healing. Strenuous activities which can pressurize the surgery site should be avoided for few months. The dressing over the wound should be regularly changed. Sponge bath is recommended for first two weeks. As healing progresses, physical therapies such as stretching or strengthening exercises should be implemented. They provide good overall health with improved spine functionality. It usually takes 6-8 months for the patient to recover.
The possible risks included are:
- Nerve or ligament injury
- Bleeding and blood-clots