What is scoliosis?

When viewed from the back of a normal person, the vertebrae are seen at the same level and aligned. And it is called scoliosis to have lateral curvature in the waist and back region. In order to be able to diagnose scoliosis, orthopedic or physical therapists measure the angle of the spine by a special method and the scoliosis is diagnosed when the spine is inclined more than 10 degrees. Curvatures below 10 degrees are called spinal asymmetry and can be detected in about 10% of the population. The cause of scoliosis is commonly unknown and called as idiopathic scoliosis. The second most common type of scoliosis is neuromuscular scoliosis seen in children with childhood paralysis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and muscle disease. The third most common type of scoliosis is congenital scoliosis. Scoliosis is 8 times more common in girls than in boys. Congenital scoliosis is more likely to progress.

Treatment of Scoliosis 

Although some exercises are beneficial in the treatment of scoliosis, the only treatment methods shown to be scientifically useful are corset application and surgical treatment. Corset therapy is useful in scoliosis patients who are diagnosed at an early stage and have a 20-40 degree curvature and slow progression of the scoliosis. Corset needs to be worn for at least 20 hours a day. In advanced scoliosis there is no benefit of use of corset. Surgery at 50 degrees is absolutely necessary. The timing of scoliosis surgery is important in children and adolescents because they continue to grow.

Scoliosis Surgery

The operation that will be applied in the scoliosis is determined by the orthopedic specialist according to the age of the patient, the degree of curvature, the place and type of the curve. In scoliosis surgery, it is aimed to correct the incline and to stop the progress by operating at least number of the vertebrae as possible.

Posterior Spinal Fusion Surgery

The most common surgical treatment for children who have stopped growing is posterior spinal fusion surgery. In this surgery, metal rods, hooks, strings and screws are used to hold the corrected vertebrae until the fusion joins. Patients may be discharged approximately 5-7 days after fusion surgery. Approximately 1 month after surgery the patients are able to perform simple daily activities. Returning to active activities is allowed after the controls that the orthopedic specialist will do. The corset should be used for about 3-6 months after the operation.

Magnetically Controlled Growing Bar Surgery

This method is not preferred in children with continuing growth not to adversely affect the child’s height, lung development and spine development. In scoliosis patients who are in the process of growth, a curved surgical method is used in which magnetic bars with magnetic control are used. In scoliosis patients using this method, magnetic bars are extended by remote control every 3 months without surgery and the growth process of the patients is not affected.

Selective Fusion Surgery

Another method of correcting only one curvature of a person with double or triple curvature by surgery and leaving the remaining curvatures to heal spontaneously is known as selective fusion surgery. Selective fusion surgery usually does not include lumbar region surgery. In this method scoliosis is targeted as possible while preserving the movement of the spine as much as possible.

Invasive Thoracoscopic Anterior Tethering Surgery

Invasive thoracoscopic anterior tethering is the newest method in scoliosis surgery. Another known name is the tape stretching method. In this method, there is no need for fusion process, so the growth process of the patients is not affected and the backbone movements are not restricted. Because this method is applied with closed technique, the duration of discharge and the duration of recovery are shorter than other methods.

In the treatment of scoliosis, it is decided after the detailed evaluation of the orthopedic specialist to apply which of the surgical methods mentioned above.



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