Dealing with scoliosis can be painful. You may not know how to handle it, but if you seek out the proper treatment from a spine doctor in Arlington, VA, you will be able to find relief.
What is Scoliosis?
First, what is scoliosis? This is when the backbone curves to the side. It is described as a sideways curvature of the spine which is a common condition.
This usually occurs during a growth spurt and is oftentimes mild. But it could form deformities and could become severe as a person grows. This can be very painful to deal with and you could need treatment with a proper diagnosis if severe enough.
It depends on the severity of your scoliosis. You may need to wear a brace or you could need surgery.
You will first begin by being monitored regularly. If the condition is moderate, a brace is recommended to be worn while you are still growing to prevent the curve from worsening. This won’t cure scoliosis or reverse it but will prevent it from worsening, especially for those that are aged 10 to 15. This brace should be worn all hours of the day and night.
To help with the pain, exercises and stretches are recommended. But when the pain is extreme, surgery, such as spinal fusion will be needed.
Spinal fusion starts with bone grafts. The surgeon will connect two or more vertebrae with new bone grafts. Some cases require metal rods, screws, or wires to hold part of the spine straight as it heals. This surgery lasts between 4 to 8 hours, but you will need to remain in the hospital for 7 to 10 days. A neurosurgeon is often present during surgery.
Usually, you can return to school within 4 to 6 weeks, but you shouldn’t participate in sports until one year after surgery. Rods will need to be lengthened every 4 to 6 months. But this is a simple outpatient procedure.
Since this is an extreme procedure, especially on a child, this will only be done if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Risks of spinal fusion include:
- Infection, which is a risk of any surgery.
- Damage to the nerves surrounding the spine. This can cause numbness in the legs or even the loss of lower body function.
- Displacement of the rod, which is when the rod moves from the correct position. This could require additional surgery.
- Pseudarthrosis, which is when one of the fused bones to the spine doesn’t stick. This can lead to discomfort and additional surgery.
The Team at Virginia Neurosurgeons
Looking for the best spine surgeon? Virginia Neurosurgeons are the leader in the field of neurosurgery in the mid-Atlantic region and throughout the U.S.
Located in Arlington, Virginia, the team at Virginia Neurosurgeons have been offering compassionate care since 2001. When suffering from spinal pain, find the relief you need from specialized, academic-oriented neurosurgeons.