Scoliosis affects six to nine million patients in the U.S. and is most often diagnosed during adolescence. Most cases are mild but may progress as a person grows older. Severe scoliosis can be disabling for individuals, reducing the space in the chest and impacting lung function.
Though scoliosis itself is painless, age-related degenerative changes may lead to discomfort. There are three common types of scoliosis diagnosis:
Idiopathic scoliosis means that there is no definite cause for the abnormal curvature of the spine, and it’s the most common type of scoliosis. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to minimize the long-term effects of this condition. With early intervention, it may be treated with conservative, non-invasive methods.
Congenital scoliosis develops before a child is born in one or more vertebrae along the spine. The malformations of the vertebrae cause curvature and other deformities because one area of the spinal column may lengthen slower than the rest of the spine.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is a subset condition of neurological or muscular diseases. These conditions include scoliosis associated with cerebral palsy, spinal cord trauma, spinal muscular atrophy, and spina bifida.
Scoliosis is a spinal condition that occurs when people have severe curves in their spines—usually 45 degrees or higher. One of the best treatments for scoliosis correction is spinal fusion, which is a surgery that realigns the spine by fusing together the curved vertebrae so that they heal into a single bone. Spinal fusion is an extremely effective procedure at improving spinal curves from scoliosis.
If you have scoliosis and are wondering if spinal fusion surgery is a viable option for treatment, you should consider contacting a trusted spine surgeon. At NJ Spine and Orthopedic, our expert spine surgeons are extremely experienced in performing spinal fusion surgeries for scoliosis correction.
Symptoms of scoliosis can vary between patients. However, 23% of patients with idiopathic scoliosis suffer from back pain at the time of initial diagnosis. Numerous symptoms may indicate scoliosis, including the following:
Other symptoms may accompany scoliosis, such as back pain stemming from arthritis, inability to stand erect, as well as leg pain or weakness may develop if there is pressure on the nerves in the lumbar spine.
In patients whose spinal curvature is expected to worsen from scoliosis, surgery is typically recommended to stop the curve’s progression. Spinal fusion surgery is the most common procedure used for scoliosis correction. This procedure involves fusing two or more vertebrae together so that they grow together from the spinal joint into a solid bone.
Advanced and modern surgical approaches and tools, including rods, screws, and wires, have allowed spinal fusion surgeries to be very effective at correcting spinal curvature and reducing recovery times. Depending on the patient’s flexibility in their spine, spinal fusion surgery can correct the deformities in the spinal curvature by approximately 50-70%. This significant change can help patients to stand up straighter and have stronger balance in their trunk.
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Your spinal bones are responsible for providing essential protection to your spinal cord. This means that during surgery, your surgeon will only straighten the bones to a safe degree. The degree that your spine will straighten from surgery will largely depend on the current flexibility of your spine.
In general, the more flexibility you have in your spine, the better results you can expect from the surgery. The majority of patients will have spines that have been straightened to less than 25 degrees.
The amount of pain experienced after spinal fusion surgery varies from patient to patient. However, the surgery is a major procedure, and the majority of patients experience discomfort for a couple of days following the surgery. This pain improves gradually, and most patients make a full recovery within 4-6 weeks.
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If you or your child has scoliosis, it is helpful to speak with a trusted spine surgeon to understand all of your options. Spinal fusion surgery is one of the best surgical options for scoliosis correction. Ultimately, the best way to understand if this procedure is the best option for treatment for your situation is to consult a skilled spine surgeon.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our spine surgeons offer expert diagnoses and individualized treatment plans. Our highly skilled board-certified spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic specialists work together to treat spine and back disorders with the most advanced techniques available. Our doctors understand that every person is unique and requires a personalized treatment plan.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we treat people, not patients. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (866) 272-9271 or complete our online contact form.
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