Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment: Definition, Purpose, Preparation, Procedure and Results
Spinal deformity is a term used to label a wide variety of diseases and conditions involving the spine and any deformity associated with it. These conditions can include scoliosis, round back, flatback, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis, as well as other conditions not listed here. People from ages 21 and older most often experience spinal deformity, although spinal deformity can also be prevalent in children and adolescents, it is more common in adults.
Spinal Deformity Symptoms
Perhaps the most common symptom of spinal deformity and one most people can attest to is the experience of pain. The pain can range from something that bothers you, to something that is so severe that it can affect your day to day activities. The pain will not only be apparent in your spinal area but can also radiate to nearby organs and body parts such as your shoulder, back, neck, buttocks, and legs.
Adult patients experiencing spinal deformity will find it difficult to carry on with daily activities, especially ones they have been able to do with ease before, as well as find it difficult to do things recreationally, thus affecting their quality of life. Moreover, spinal deformity can worsen and progress over time if left untreated.
What is Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment?
People who experience spinal deformity are given options to treat the condition. The most common treatment for deformities and conditions relating to the spine is perhaps surgery, specifically a wide range of surgical processes referred to as spinal deformity surgical treatment.
What is the Purpose of Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment?
Primarily, surgical treatment of spinal deformities is used to treat and prevent the worsening of deformities found in the spine, and to prevent the onset of other related conditions such as breathing problems and neurological problems.
Although patients are offered non-surgical treatments such as exercise, injections, medications and physical therapy, most patients, especially those in the later stages of the condition find that surgery works spinal deformity surgical treatment works better and offers a much more permanent form of treatment.
This is true even in spinal deformities associated with children. Surgery is the ideal treatment for them as it prevents the worsening of the condition, as they get older. In adult patients, they want to undergo spinal deformity surgical treatment in order to improve their body image, as they hate the posture and body image their deformity imposes upon them.
What are the Preparations done before a Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment?
- Before a surgical treatment can occur for your spinal deformity, the doctor will subject you to various physical examinations and medical imaging procedures to specify exactly where the surgery will occur in order to effectively anesthetize the area, as well as to determine your overall physical health and surgical risk. Imaging procedures will include X-rays, MRI, and CT Scans, in order for the surgeon to correctly plan and outline the surgery that will occur.
- Before the surgery, there are things you can do for yourself in order to ensure that the process goes along smoothly. For example, the night before a surgery, you must make sure that you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight. This will include minor consumables such as water, crackers, candy and even chewing gums. This is in order to make your stomach empty to avoid aspiration during, or after application of general anesthesia. Eat a well-balanced and hearty meal earlier in the night before your surgery, and avoid eating foods that are too salty. This is to not induce thirstiness after you wake up and right before surgery.
What are the Procedures for Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment?
During the operation itself, you will be guided to the operating table and encouraged to fall asleep, an anesthesiologist will then give you medicine to help you fall asleep and not feel pain during the whole process. The anesthesiologist or nurse will insert a small tube into your mouth to help supply oxygen to your lungs during the operation.
The surgical treatment will then occur either in a posterior approach or an anterior approach. During a posterior approach, your spine will be operated from your back, and the incision will be visible as a straight line in the middle of your back. In the anterior approach, however, the incision will run either from one side of your rib cage or on the front of your abdomen. In both of these surgical processes, spinal hardware will be placed on your spines, such as rods, screws, and hooks. Sometimes bone grafts will be placed along the spine, and these bone donations will either be from a donor or from one of your hip’s bones.
Spinal Deformity Surgical Treatment: After Surgery
What usually happens after surgery is that you will be advised to stay in the hospital for a few days up to a few weeks, in order to encourage your full recovery and for the doctor and nurse to monitor your vital signs and recovery progress. You will be subjected to physical therapy in order to return your bodily functions to the state they were in before surgery. Physical therapy can occur in the hospital, or in your own home.
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