Get answers to your Pediatric Surgery questions.
Spinal curvature surgery - child; Kyphoscoliosis surgery - child; Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery - child; VATS - child
Scoliosis surgery repairs abnormal curving of the spine (scoliosis). The goal is to safely straighten the spine, align your child' s shoulders and hips, and give you long-term correction for your child' s back problem.
Before surgery, your child will receive general anesthesia. This will make your child unconscious and unable to feel pain during the operation.
During surgery, your child's surgeon will use steel rods, hooks, screws, or other metal devices to straighten your child's spine and support the bones of the spine. Then the surgeon will often use bone grafts to hold the spine in the correct position and keep it from curving again.
Your child's surgeon will make at least one surgical cut to get to your child's spine. This cut may be in your child's back, chest, or both places. The surgeon may also do the procedure using a special video camera.
During the surgery:
The surgeon may get bone for the grafts in these ways:
Different surgeries use different types of metal instruments. These are usually left in the body after the bone fuses together. Three of the more common procedures are:
During surgery, the nerves that come from the spine will be watched using special equipment to make sure no damage is done to any of the nerve roots.
Scoliosis surgery usually takes 4 to 6 hours. It may be longer or shorter for some children.
There are several reasons to treat scoliosis:
Braces are often tried first to slow the curve from getting worse.
The choice of when to have surgery will vary.
Surgery is usually recommended for the following children and adolescents with scoliosis of unknown cause (idiopathic scoliosis):
Hedequist DJ. Surgical treatment of congenital scoliosis. Orthop Clin North Am. 2007;38(4):497-509.
Lonner, B. S. Emerging minimally invasive technologies for the management of scoliosis. Orthop Clin North Am. 2007;38(3): 431-440.
Patil CG, Santarelli J, Lad SP, et al. Inpatient complications, mortality, and discharge disposition after surgical correction of idiopathic scoliosis: a national perspective. Spine J. 2008 Mar 19 [Epub ahead of print]
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