Scoliosis Treatment Options in India
The following are some of the common surgical procedures used for scoliosis treatment in India:
Posterior approach or back surgery
Scoliosis surgery with the posterior approach is considered as the gold standard treatment for correction of the abnormal curvature of the spine. It has been used as the primary treatment for years.
The abnormal curvature is corrected with the implantation of two metal rods made up of a strong material such as stainless steel or titanium. In some patients, more than two rods may be needed to correct the alignment of the spine. Screws, wires, or hooks are also used to anchor the rods to the spine.
During the surgery, the thoracic spine is incised along the length. The exposed muscles are then separated from the spine to get access to the spine. Rods are inserted and fixed with the help of screws to reduce the curvature.
Spinal fusion is the most widely accepted surgical procedure for scoliosis treatment. Pieces of bones or bone-like material are grafted between two or more vertebrae to form one solid bone mass. The vertebral column becomes rigid, therefore, preventing the spine from curving any further.
Spinal fusion can be performed via both anterior and posterior approaches, but the choice depends on the medical condition of the patient. A few severe cases are usually treated with a combination of these two approaches.
During the surgery, the spine is accessed either with the anterior or the posterior approach. The curved portion of the spine is straightened carefully with the help of rods and hooks. The spine is then covered with several small pieces of the bone graft to fuse it in a straight position.
As the fusion progresses, the bone graft starts healing and continues to do so for 3 to 6 months and up to 12 months in some cases. The part of the fused spine solidifies with due course of time and is not at risk of abnormal curvature any longer. The remaining part of the spine will remain flexible like before. The overall movement of the spine remains normal.
Scoliosis patients with a thoracic curve are suggested to undergo thoracoplasty. It is conducted to reduce the rib hump or obtain bone grafts from the ribs instead of the pelvis. Thoracoplasty may be used in combination with spinal fusion surgery to treat scoliosis.
During this procedure, four to six segments of the adjacent ribs that protrude are resected with the help of thoracoplasty. Ribs that must be resected are decided by the surgeon on the basis of the prominence or by identification of the ribs that cannot be corrected with the help of realignment. The ribs grow back in a straight line.