Scoliosis surgery can make a huge difference to people's lives. This condition leads to an abnormal curvature of the spine (curved from side to side) and it may be caused by neuromuscular problems, congenital defects, or be due to other causes. There are different methods available for treating scoliosis and the one that is chosen will very much depend on the extent and seriousness of the problem. Scoliosis surgery is just one of the treatment options available and in the past this has been a good choice for people – although it won't be the best option for everyone.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered before scoliosis surgery can be offered as an option by the surgical team.
It is only when the surgical team has determined the suitability of the individual for scoliosis surgery that they will suggest it. There may well be other better options, or the risks involved in the surgery might outweigh any potential benefits. If this is a treatment option that is recommended by the surgical team then it will be up to the individual to decide if they want to follow this advice.
Scoliosis surgery does not just refer to one procedure but to a number of different options; they all aim to produce similar results. A posterior spinal fusion involves opening the patient's back and placing a metal rod on each side of the spine; this is then fused with a bone graft from the hip. Another possibility is that the surgeon can make the incision from the front of the body and get to the spine that way; this procedure is considered a bit more complicated because it involves deflating a lung.
Like all such treatments there are risks associated with scoliosis surgery and these will need to be considered before anyone chooses this option. Those who are suitable for scoliosis surgery may find that it makes a huge difference to their ability to enjoy life.