Scoliosis is a fairly common medical condition in which the spine has an abnormal curvature. Depending on the degree of the abnormal curvature, scoliosis may be either negligible or a constant obstacle to everyday activity. There has been a great deal of research into the condition, however, and a range of treatments has been developed.
Many patients find that some combination physical therapy and medicines helps to manage their symptoms without surgery. But for those who have not found success with traditional techniques, there is still hope. Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery may be an effective way to correct your spine’s curvature, and it avoids some of the drawbacks of traditional, more invasive techniques. Here is an overview of the procedure and its benefits so that you can be better informed when you talk with your doctor.
What Is Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery?
The goal of minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is twofold: to correct the spine’s curvature and to prevent the condition from worsening in the future. In most cases, no matter the procedure, the spine cannot be completely and perfectly straightened, but it can be significantly improved. The difference between minimally invasive scoliosis surgery and traditional surgery is the former’s focus on minimizing the surgery’s negative impact on your body, particularly by preserving healthy tissue.
During a minimally invasive spine operation, the surgeon will use dilation technology to access your spine. This technology pushes aside, or dilates, your muscle instead of cutting through it, as is common in traditional surgery. Once he or she has physical and visual access to the surgical area, the treatment will begin.
Most surgical treatments for scoliosis, whether traditional or minimally invasive, are spinal fusions, meaning that the surgeon will graft a piece of bone to your vertebrae to ensure that they are straight and rigid when they heal. It is with the use of minimally invasive techniques, however, that these procedures are likely to cause the least impact to your healthy tissue.
Who Should Consider Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery?
Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is great for those who seek an active lifestyle, but have not found relief using conventional treatments like physical therapy. Not all cases of scoliosis are appropriately treated with minimally invasive surgery currently. By talking to your doctor, you will be able to get a clear picture of your particular case of scoliosis and how it can be best treated.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery
Advancements in surgical technology have made minimally invasive scoliosis surgery a more practical and effective option. Here are some of the benefits that minimally invasive techniques can offer:
Traditional techniques typically involve one long incision, whereas minimally invasive surgery will involve only a few small incisions. This will result in smaller, less noticeable scars.
Lower Risk of Complications
Another benefit of the small incisions is a decreased risk of infection during and after the procedure. Also, depending on the experience of the surgeon, minimally invasive techniques are often faster than their traditional counterparts. This means that less of your interior is exposed and for a shorter period of time, thus reducing the likelihood that infections or other complications will occur.
Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery dilates muscles instead of cutting through them, so there will be less overall damage to surrounding tissue during your operation. This leads to a lower level of blood loss and less pain during your recovery. Spine surgeries all typically involve some degree of pain, but the pain caused by minimally invasive techniques is generally more manageable than that of traditional open surgery.
All of this amounts to what is thought to be the biggest benefit of minimally invasive surgeries: a faster recovery. Minimizing the damage to surrounding tissue allows that tissue to heal faster, which will help you return to your normal level of activity more quickly than if you were to undergo traditional surgery. Heeding your doctor’s advice, getting plenty of rest and diligently practicing physical therapy will also dramatically improve the outcome of your surgery.
Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is an increasingly common treatment that carries a lot of promise. Reducing the damage to surrounding tissue has a great deal of benefits that have allowed many patients a fast return to an active lifestyle. But it’s important to note that spine issues can be complex. Be sure to talk to a medical professional so that you can gain a full understanding of your condition and how best to approach treatment. You should use this overview to help guide your discussions with your doctor.