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Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities

The normal curvature of the spine allows the back to absorb shock, maintain balance and perform activities with minimal strain. Deformities of the spine such as kyphosis (excessive outward curvature causing a hunch), scoliosis (abnormal sideways curvature of the spine) and degenerative diseases can cause nerve compression, and muscle, tendon and ligament strain. This can lead to pain, deformity and other neurological symptoms, affecting your daily activities. Spinal reconstructive surgery is performed to restore the normal spinal curvature, eliminate nerve compression, stabilize the spine and improve posture.

Reconstructive spine surgery is considered when non-surgical procedures such as braces, manipulation and steroid injections fail to relieve symptoms, but is not recommended for obese individuals or those with poor general health.

Treatment depends on the type, location and extent of spine deformity. A wide range of procedures are available for different spinal conditions. The spine may be approached by making an incision in the front or back of your body. A combined approach is sometimes necessary. Procedures may include

  • Osteotomy: parts of vertebral bone are cut to realign the spine to its normal position
  • Nerve decompression: Parts of bone or damaged, or herniated intervertebral discs compressing adjacent nerves are cut and removed
  • Artificial disc replacement: Degenerating disc replaced with artificial metal or plastic disc
  • Spinal fusion: Insertion of bone grafts or artificial discs and fusion of adjacent vertebrae at one or multiple levels with rods, pins or screws

Some procedures may be performed by minimally invasive techniques through small incisions that improve recovery time and minimize complications.

Following the procedure, your back may be placed in a brace to provide support and improve healing. Your doctor prescribes medication for pain. After healing, physical therapy is recommended to strengthen the muscles and improve movement.

In some cases, a single operation does not completely resolve the problem. You may have to go through multiple surgical treatments to achieve the desired outcomes.

As with any surgery, reconstructive spine procedure may occasionally be associated with complications such as blood loss, infection, leakage of cerebrospinal fluid and inappropriate placement of instruments.

Decompression Surgery :: Dural Repair or /microdiscectomy/'>Microdiscectomy :: Minimally Invasive Surgery :: Laminoplasty :: Posterior Surgery :: Revision Surgery :: Spinal Fusion :: Steroid Injections :: Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Rothman Institute
  • Jefferson University Hospitals