Scoliosis is a problem that tends to develop in childhood, characterized by your spine curving to the left or right instead of forming a vertical line. If scoliosis is causing you pain and other problems, or your child has scoliosis, Jorge Isaza, MD, and his team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, can help with scoliosis surgery. They use advanced surgical techniques to correct abnormal spinal curvature and improve your quality of life. Call Spine Specialists of Louisiana today to find out more, or book an appointment using the online form.
Your spine should follow a straight line from your head down to your hips. If you or your child has scoliosis, however, your spine curves out to one side. The curve can affect any part of your spine. In most cases, scoliosis is idiopathic, which means it doesn’t have an identifiable cause.
Scoliosis typically develops in childhood, but it often causes few problems, or maybe none at all. Around 90% of people who have scoliosis don't experience back pain or other adverse effects of having a spinal abnormality.
If scoliosis reaches a 20-25° curve during adolescence, a back brace can help prevent the curve from getting any worse as the skeleton matures. If the curvature worsens or is causing problems by compressing internal organs, surgery might be necessary.
At the least, Dr. Isaza wants your scoliosis surgery to keep the spinal curvature from getting any worse. But he has two further aims when undertaking scoliosis surgery:
It's possible to correct the curvature and untwist the spine to a certain degree, depending on how flexible your spine is when you have your surgery. Dr. Isaza can achieve up to 70% correction for some patients.
Making changes to your spinal curvature during surgery doesn't just involve correcting the abnormal bend. Dr. Isaza also has to keep your hips and legs even and retain the natural vertical curve in your spine.
Another key consideration is avoiding damage to your spinal cord.
There are several approaches to scoliosis surgery:
Fusion surgery permanently joins two or more vertebrae so they create a rigid section of bone. Dr. Isaza might use a combination of screws, hooks, rods, or wires to hold your spine in place. Fusion surgery prevents your spine from returning to its previous position after correction of the curvature.
Growing systems aim to delay the need for fusion, giving a child's spine time to grow to a normal height. Dr. Isaza anchors rods in the spine that help to correct or maintain an adolescent's spinal curvature while they grow.
At 6- to 12-month intervals, further surgery lengthens the rods to keep up with the spine's growth. Once the skeleton matures, Dr. Isaza can perform fusion surgery if required.
Fusionless scoliosis surgery involves applying pressure to your spine using methods such as the vertebral tethering system. This uses screws on the outer edge of the spine's abnormal curve that pull tight with a cord to straighten your spine.
The aim is to straighten the spine while retaining more vertebral flexion than is possible following fusion surgery.
Dr. Isaza underwent fellowship training in pediatric orthopedics and training in adult spine surgery. He is also a fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society. This knowledge and experience gives him the expertise to continue a child's care into adulthood and treat adults as well as children.
Find out if scoliosis surgery could help you or your child by calling Spine Specialists of Louisiana today, or you can book an appointment online.