In many cases of scoliosis, the patient will not be recommended surgery to correct the curve, due to the fact that it is unlikely to progress to an extent that will cause major changes in their appearance and respiratory health. For those with a severe curve of 45-50 degrees or more, surgery is usually recommended, particularly in children, who are likely to see their curve progress as they grow. Spinal surgery is also recommended to those whose curves have progressed rapidly over a period of monitoring the condition, in an effort to avoid further progression, and the aforementioned health complications.
While spinal fusion surgery
is an effective treatment for some, and may be the only viable option for those with a severe curve, it is important that scoliotics consider their full range of options before undergoing the procedure. They should also take time to consider any possible risks or complications, as is advised before agreeing to any form of major surgery.
Here are a few of the risks to consider before undergoing spinal fusion surgery:
- Back Pain - In some cases, patients will continue to experience back pain even after undergoing spinal fusion surgery, due to what is sometimes referred to as 'failed back surgery syndrome'. While the surgery itself may have been a success, this does not necessarily mean that the patient will experience a full resolution of their pre-op symptoms.
- Failure of Fusion - This occurs when the bone grafts used to complete the operation fail to fuse into solid bone, which can be caused by excessive movement , poor placement of screws and rods, or even the use if anti-inflammatory medication. This can sometimes lead to failure of implants, which can cause breaks, pullouts and chronic pain. If there is no pain and the curve seems to be stable, a broken rod may not be removed.
- Neurological Complications - Some complaints which may occur soon after surgery include a loss of skin sensation, loss of strength in feet and legs, loss of bowel and bladder control, and in very severe cases, paralysis. These changes can be temporary or permanent, and only occur in a very small number of cases, particularly in their most serious form, with only a 1% risk of paralysis.
Other aspects of post-operative health to consider include:
- Self image (due to scarring)
- Limits on range of motion/flexibility
Is it Possible to Avoid These Risks & Complications?
Therapy for Curve Reduction:
For those who are particularly concerned about the potential risks and limitations posed by surgery, it is possible to eliminate the need to undergo this procedure, by reducing the spinal curvature using non-surgical techniques. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have treated a huge number of spinal surgery candidates of all ages, who came to us in an effort to avoid spinal fusion.
Using our ScolioGold treatment method, which combines a unique selection of established, non-surgical techniques, we have not only managed to reduce the Cobb angle of our patients, but have also provided them with a lasting method to manage the symptoms of their scoliosis.
Post-Spinal Fusion Surgery Treatment:
Along with those who are looking to avoid surgery altogether, we have also treated many patients who have already undergone spinal fusion surgery, and are seeking help to recover from the procedure. For many of these patients, the primary complaint is the level of pain experienced after surgery, which can be successfully reduced using our therapeutic techniques. Another key issue for post-surgery patients, is their level of mobility after surgery, which can also befit from the guidance and supervision of our experienced physiotherapists.
To find out more about the treatments we provide here at Scoliosis SOS, simply get in touch with our team today, by calling us on 0207 488 4428, or filling out our enquiry form here.