There are two new minimally invasive procedures that do not involve fusion, and can be used to treat those patients who have spinal curves that have not responded to bracing.
Both of the new surgical procedures access the spine through tiny incisions near the ribs:
Both techniques work on one side of the curve to prevent it from worsening during the adolescent growth spurt. Sometimes it may be the only surgery needed. A second benefit of both minimally invasive techniques is that they don’t burn any bridges and more traditional corrective instrumentation can be used later on if necessary.
Another significant advance is “Mini Scoliosis Surgery” which accesses the spine through three short incisions instead of the long 10-inch incision involved with traditional scoliosis surgery.
Dr. Rory Mayer and Dr. Matthew Geck at Texas Spine & Scoliosis Center are both proficient in “mini scoliosis surgery.” The benefit to the patient is significant:
In scoliosis surgery metal rods, screws or wires are used to de-rotate the curve. Scoliosis surgery is based on a two-rod instrumentation system with hooks that attach to each vertebral level to de-rotate and straighten the abnormal curve.
With adults, the concern is that the older the patient, the less the flexible the spine is for correction, and the more risk for spinal cord damage during correction. In this case, waiting years to deal with progressing scoliotic curves can be a disadvantage.
The good news about scoliosis is that the vast majority of people diagnosed with some degree of scoliosis can often live normal, active and healthy lives.