Key Highlights

  • Scoliosis is a condition that causes an atypical curvature of the spine, and surgery is one of the treatment options available.
  • The decision to undergo surgery for scoliosis is usually made when the curvature becomes severe or if there are other related concerns such as breathing difficulty.
  • Spinal fusion is the most common type of surgery for scoliosis, in which metal rods or pieces of bone are used to realign the curved areas of the spine.
  • There are also newer surgical options available, such as vertebral spinal tethering (VBT) and ApiFix, which offer non-fusion alternatives and allow for greater preservation of flexibility and mobility.
  • Like any surgery, scoliosis surgery carries certain risks and complications, but it has proven to be highly effective and safe in experienced hands.
Surgery Should always be the last 

Introduction to Different Types of Scoliosis Surgery

Scoliosis bends the spine, often detected in childhood or adolescence, affecting life quality. Treatments vary from non-surgical (like bracing) to surgery if pain persists. An operation corrects spine curve for better back function. Explore traditional fusion, VBT, and ApiFix types. Learn about surgery reasons, steps, recovery, risks to decide best treatment.

Understanding Scoliosis in Children

Scoliosis can affect people of all ages but is commonly found in kids or teens. It often appears during growth spurts when the spine grows quickly. The exact reason for scoliosis is mostly unknown and called idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis shows an unusual sideways curve of the spine, causing symptoms like back pain, posture changes, and breathing issues. Detecting it early and giving proper treatment, which includes a physical exam and spinal imaging, are vital to control scoliosis in children and stop it from getting worse, especially if there is an underlying condition causing the scoliosis.

The Basics of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is when the spine curves oddly. The most usual type is idiopathic, with unknown causes. The curve can be in various spine sections – neck, upper back, or lower back.

It may lead to posture changes, pain, or breathing difficulties. The severity varies from mild to severe. The bones in the spine can be impacted, twisting and causing issues.

Early detection and care are crucial to stop it from worsening and reduce symptoms.

How Scoliosis Affects Children

Scoliosis can affect kids a lot, making them feel pain and emotional distress. The spine’s curve causes back pain, posture changes, and trouble with daily tasks. Many children with scoliosis complain of pain, especially in the lower back. This pain can linger and limit activities, hindering a normal childhood experience.

Apart from physical issues, scoliosis can also impact kids emotionally. Changes in posture and appearance may make them self-conscious, affecting self-esteem. Parents, caregivers, and health experts should offer help to these children. They need proper medical care and emotional support to handle the condition’s challenges well.

How Scoliosis Affects Children

Indications for Surgery in Pediatric Scoliosis

Surgery for curved spine in kids isn’t always needed. The recommendation depends on curve severity, usually over 50 degrees. Other factors like curve progression, symptoms, and impact on life are important too. It’s a joint decision among the child, family, and healthcare team.

When Surgery Becomes a Necessity

A back operation is generally recommended when the spine curves severely, usually at 50 degrees or more. Severe curves can lead to complications and affect daily life. Factors like curve progression, symptoms, and impact on daily life help decide if surgery is necessary. Surgery aims to fix the spine curve and improve alignment. The type of surgery, such as spinal fusion, becomes a necessity as the primary surgical treatment for patients with severe scoliosis, as it is the most effective option for correcting the curvature. However, surgery is not indicated for all cases of scoliosis and should be discussed openly with healthcare providers.

Assessing the Severity of Curvature

Assessing scoliosis severity is crucial for deciding treatment. Professionals measure curvature using X-rays, often using the Cobb angle method. Severe cases may need spinal fusion surgery with rods or bone grafts to stabilize and realign the spine. This prevents worsening curvature and enhances alignment.

Less severe cases or growing individuals might consider vertebral body tethering (VBT). VBT corrects spine curvature gradually using a cord and screws, promoting growth and flexibility. Treatment choice depends on the person’s situation and healthcare team expertise.

Risks Of Adolescent Scoliosis Surgery

Scoliosis Surgery Types

When someone needs scoliosis surgery, different procedures are available based on their specific situation. The most common surgery is spinal fusion, which uses metal rods or bone grafts to fix the spine’s curve and stabilize it. Besides spinal fusion, there are newer techniques like vertebral body tethering (VBT) and ApiFix. VBT supports spine growth and flexibility with the use of a flexible tether, while ApiFix corrects the curve with internal bracing. Another option is anterior scoliosis corrective surgery, also known as vertebral body tethering (VBT) or anterior scoliosis correction (ASC), which allows for continuous correction of the spine over time without stiffening it. The type of surgery chosen depends on factors like how severe the curve is, the person’s age and bone maturity, and the healthcare team’s skills.

Posterior Spinal Fusion: The Traditional Approach

Explore various scoliosis surgery types. Posterior fusion is common. It involves surgery on the back. Metal devices fix the spine curve. Sometimes bone grafts help fusion. This surgery corrects and stabilizes the spine, preventing scoliosis progression. It’s done under anesthesia. Surgery length varies. Pain control and therapy aid recovery.

Anterior Spinal Fusion: Accessing the Spine from the Front

Explore different scoliosis surgery types. Anterior fusion accesses the spine from the front. It’s for specific scoliosis like thoracic insufficiency syndrome.

In this surgery, a cut is made in the chest or abdomen to reach the curved spine. Metal devices realign and stabilize the spine. The aim is to correct curvature and improve back alignment.

Anterior fusion, like any operation, has risks. Patients should discuss benefits and risks with their healthcare team thoroughly.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

Explore different scoliosis surgery types, including minimally invasive techniques such as the posterior approach and anterior scoliosis corrective procedure, also known as VBT. Recent surgical advances allow for smaller incisions and the use of special instruments to correct spine curvature. Benefits include smaller scars, less blood loss, reduced pain, and quicker recovery. Not everyone qualifies for these surgeries; it depends on curvature severity and medical team experience. The posterior approach, also known as a surgical cut in the back, is done under general anesthesia and varies in length and recovery time based on individual circumstances, while VBT utilizes a small incision on the patient’s side of the spine for a less invasive approach.

Growing Rods for Progressive Curves

Patients can opt for growing rods surgery. It’s commonly done in kids to support their growth and fix the curve. The surgery involves placing metal rods, specifically steel rods, along the spine, connecting them to the vertebrae. These rods are adjusted over time to match the person’s growth and correct the curve gradually. The aim is to stabilize the spine, promote growth, and slow down scoliosis progress. This surgery is done in stages as the child grows, with adjustments based on growth and medical advice. Follow-ups are vital for success and reducing risks after the procedure, ensuring the rods are in the correct position to support the spine and promote proper growth.

Real success story Kiara2

Preparing for Scoliosis Surgery

Preparing involves a few steps to get ready for the procedure. First, there’s a check-up, tests, and talks with the healthcare team. In this phase, the person and their family will learn about what happens before, during, and after the operation. They’ll get info about the surgery, pain control, and recovery.

It’s crucial for people and their families to join in getting ready, ask questions, and talk about worries. Talking openly with the healthcare team can ease fears and make sure the procedure goes well.

What to Expect During the Pre-operative Phase

In the period before the procedure, patients have a detailed health check to ensure they are fit for an operation. This involves lung function tests and other assessments. Imaging tests like X-rays and MRI scans help plan the surgery by showing the spine’s curve clearly.

Patients also learn about the procedure, anesthesia, and pain control. They may need to fast before the procedure and stop some medications. This phase allows patients to ask questions, share worries, and grasp what to expect during the operation. Good communication with the medical team is crucial for a positive surgical outcome.

Managing Expectations: A Family’s Guide

Managing expectations is crucial for families preparing for the operation. It’s vital to understand the procedure and expected outcomes. The healthcare team guides and supports the individual and their family throughout the surgical process. Families may ask about risks, recovery time, and long-term outcomes. The team provides information to ease worries and build confidence in the decision-making process. Families should participate actively in decisions, care, and support before, during, and after surgery. Communication with the healthcare team helps in managing expectations and ensuring a positive experience.

The Recovery Process

The time after the procedure is crucial. Recovery duration varies based on type of procedure, age, health, and curve complexity. Afterwards, patients stay in the hospital for monitoring and pain control. The medical team guides post-surgery care like wound treatment and movement. Long-term recovery includes physical therapy for strength and flexibility. Regular check-ups are essential for monitoring progress and success. Patients must follow instructions and participate actively for optimal results.

Immediate Post-surgery Care

After the operation, care right after is crucial for a good recovery. Patients stay in the hospital for monitoring and pain control. The medical team gives wound care, pain relief, and watches for issues. Pain control is vital, so doctors manage it well. Patients might start moving gently when safe. Doctors guide them on activity levels. Hospital stay duration depends on each case and surgery type. It’s key for patients to communicate with their medical team.

Long-term Recovery and Rehabilitation

Long-term healing after the operation is vital. Patients recover strength and mobility through rehab. Therapy helps with personalized exercises focusing on strength, flexibility, and posture improvement.

Follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor progress and make adjustments. Active participation in recovery is key for best outcomes. Recovery time varies based on individual circumstances and complexity.

sid our approach is better than bracing

Risks and Complications of Scoliosis Surgery

Individuals thinking about having the procedure should know the risks and benefits. Risks include nerve damage, blood clots, and more. Risks vary based on surgery type and health. The healthcare team will explain specific risks. Patients should ask questions and be involved in decisions.

Understanding the Potential Risks

Like any surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. It is important for individuals considering surgery to have a thorough understanding of these risks and to weigh them against the potential benefits.

Some potential surgical risks include infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Complications can also occur during the surgical procedure, such as neurological or nerve damage, muscle or dural tears, vision loss, positioning issues, and blood clots.

While these risks and complications are possible, it is important to note that the procedure has been proven to be highly effective and relatively safe in experienced hands. Advances in surgical techniques and medical care have further improved the success rate and minimized the occurrence of complications.

Having a proactive approach to managing the potential risks and complications is essential. This includes selecting an experienced surgeon, following pre-operative and post-operative instructions, and actively participating in the recovery process. Communication with the healthcare team is key to addressing any concerns or questions that may arise throughout the surgical journey.

Minimizing Complications: A Proactive Approach

Minimizing risks is crucial. Being proactive reduces complications and ensures success. Choosing a skilled surgeon who specializes in scoliosis is key. Ask about their training, experience, and success rates.

Following instructions before and after surgery is vital. This includes stopping certain medications, staying healthy, and following therapy programs. Communicating well with the healthcare team is essential. Voice concerns, ask questions, and be involved in decisions.

A proactive approach and teamwork reduce complications and increase the chance of a successful outcome.


Scoliosis surgery can help kids with curved spines. Knowing about the condition is vital. Options like spinal fusion and minimally invasive methods suit various needs. Getting ready for the operation, handling recovery, and risks are crucial steps. Picking the best surgeon is key. Every child’s journey is special, family support is vital for their healing.

Every child's journey is special, family support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Success Rate of Scoliosis Surgery in Children?

The success rate in children is generally high when performed by experienced surgeons. On average, the correction of the curvature is approximately 70%, and the likelihood of complications is around 2% to 3%. Recent advances in techniques and medical care have further improved the success rate.

Can Scoliosis Surgery Affect Growth?

Spine operations can have an impact on growth, particularly in individuals who are still growing. Surgeons take into account factors such as skeletal maturity and future growth potential when determining the most suitable surgical approach. Procedures such as vertebral body tethering (VBT) allow for continued growth and flexibility of the spine.

How to Choose the Right Surgeon for Scoliosis Surgery?

Choosing the right surgeon is crucial for a successful outcome. It is important to consider factors such as the surgeon’s experience, training, specialization, and success rates. Seeking referrals from trusted healthcare professionals and conducting thorough research can help individuals make an informed decision.