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Scoliosis & Deformity Correction 

Minimally invasive techniques use advanced imaging and specialized medical equipment to correct the abnormal curvature of the spine. Surgical tools that we can use may include robotic guidance, stealth navigation, ultrasonic or laser cutting devices.

The goal of spinal reconstruction surgery is to decrease the patient’s pain and to place the spine in a more natural position. This can be accomplished using minimally invasive robot-guided spine surgery which allows our surgeons to precisely create and plan a blueprint for surgery before stepping foot in the operating room.

Types of Spinal Deformities

Adult Scoliosis Correction

Adult scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the bones in the spine that can twist or rotate to the left or right. This type of scoliosis can occur in adults due to untreated curvature as a child or degenerative spinal conditions like disc degeneration and spinal stenosis.

Approximately seven million people in the United States suffer from scoliosis and the experts at Virginia Spine Institute can offer the least invasive procedures to treat it.

Determining the most appropriate scoliosis treatment first begins with an accurate diagnosis. Adult scoliosis can sometimes be diagnosed just by looking at the back, especially if the curvature is severe and has very obviously changed the structure of the spine. Determining the most appropriate scoliosis treatment first begins with an accurate diagnosis. The best way to identify adult scoliosis, however, is with standing x-rays.

Please consult our surgeons are the Virginia Spine Institute, who are leading scoliosis experts. We will be able to discuss with you the best recommendation whether it be monitoring your curve, a smaller operation, or a necessary reconstructive surgery to give you the best outcome.

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Kyphosis Correction

A ‘normal’ spine has three natural curves that produce an ‘S’ shape when viewed from the side. These curves help to evenly distribute our body weight and absorb the normal stress we place on our spine every day.

In some instances, however, the spinal curvature may become exaggerated and round forward, creating the appearance of a hump back. This condition is known as kyphosis.

The condition, depending on the severity, can be managed or treated.

Kyphosis can occur in both moderate and severe situations with the latter most often experiencing pain and fatigue if symptoms progress. In moderate or severe kyphosis, a patient can experience pain, weakness, or numbness. Patients can even feel shortness of breath or fatigue due to limitations on the heart and lung.

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Flatback Correction

Flatback syndrome occurs when the low back loses its natural curvature and becomes flat over time in the lumbar spine. With flatback syndrome there is a decreased lordosis and when this occurs the spine becomes unbalanced and the patient will start to lean forward. Symptoms of flatback syndrome often worsen as the day goes on, as the patient tends to lean further and further forward. The severity of symptoms often depends on the amount of curvature present and associated difficulty with standing upright. Patient’s spine will automatically try to compensate for this imbalance by tilting their pelvis, flexing their knees or hips. This imbalance over time can cause muscle fatigue and pain.

Often the degree of flatback deformity worsens with age as there is natural disc degeneration and collapse over time. The goal of this surgery is to restore the normal lordosis; this is done by surgically removing the degenerative discs and replacing them with implants. These implants restore the disc height loss over time and often are hyper-lordotic implants meaning they also restore lordosis. Some examples of these types of surgeries include anterior lumbar interbody fusion and lateral interbody fusion. The surgery also utilizes screws and rods in the back to stabilize the implants and help fuse the spine in a more normal alignment.

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Conditions That Benefit From Deformity Surgery

These conditions typically benefit from deformity surgery:

Benefits of Scoliosis & Deformity Correction

  • Decrease the patient’s pain
  • Place the spine in a more natural position
  • Attempts to decrease the patient’s symptoms of pain, numbness weakness
  • Place the spine in better balanced position for better function
  • Give patients an improved quality of life

Scoliosis & Deformity Correction FAQs

What is the Goal of Kyphosis Correction?

The goal of spinal reconstruction surgery is to decrease the patient’s pain and to place the spine in a more natural position. This can be accomplished using minimally invasive robot-guided spine surgery which allows our surgeons to precisely create and plan a blueprint for surgery before stepping foot in the operating room.

What Degree of Kyphosis Requires Surgery?

Corrective surgery for thoracic kyphosis can be recommended starting with curves starting at over 60 degrees. However your surgeon will discuss with you the prognosis and how to monitor your curve if surgery is not indicated.

What Happens if Kyphosis is Left Untreated?

In moderate or severe kyphosis, a patient can experience pain, weakness, or numbness. Patients can even feel shortness of breath or fatigue due to limitations on the heart and lung. Please set up a consultation if you believe you have kyphosis.

Why might someone have this deformity?

There are several reasons patients may have this type of deformity. For instance, osteoporosis may be one of the contributing factors that causes spinal fractures and worsens a patient’s kyphosis. Other causes include increased risk due to genetics and familial history or possibly a congenital anomaly.

What will my range of motion be like after surgery?

Often these types of kyphosis deformities are more common in the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine naturally is less mobile than the cervical or lumbar spine due to the rib cage. Also, with this type of deformity patients often already have limited mobility due to the degree of deformity and associated arthritis in those areas. Therefore, people sometimes notice minimal change in their range of motion or even have improved quality of life as their symptoms are no longer limiting their activities.

When am I able to return to my normal exercise regimen?

We will customize your physical therapy regimen. Most patients are up walking right after surgery. Your progression in exercise and activity will be specifically guided by your surgeon and physical therapist.

What Degree of Scoliosis Requires Surgery?

Spinal curves that have progressed greater than 45°, or are causing symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or pain, are normally referred to for surgery.

What restrictions do patients have after scoliosis correction surgery and how long do they last?

For 12 weeks after scoliosis corrective surgery postoperative restrictions will include no bending, lifting greater than 5lb, or twisting. Avoiding these activities will put less stress across the surgical area as your body continues to heal. The provider will develop a specialized physical therapy plan for each patient. 

When am I able to return to school or work after scoliosis surgery?

After having surgery, especially a scoliosis deformity procedure, it is natural and necessary to take a few weeks off to focus on your body healing. You will have postoperative activity restrictions for 12 weeks after surgery. However, often patients do start to slowly return to some school and work activities prior to 3 months after surgery. Our goal as spinal specialists is to improve your quality of life by treating your spinal deformity. We are seeing our patients often during the postoperative setting and having many conversations to help determine what activities are safe to proceed with and which may need a few more weeks of recovery before restarting.

Meet Our Spinal Surgeons

Dr. Christopher Good

Spine Surgeon
President of Virginia Spine Institute

Dr. Ehsan Jazini

Spine Surgeon

Dr. Colin Haines

Spine Surgeon
Director of Research

Videos About Scoliosis & Deformity Correction

Spinal Champion Barbara’s Scoliosis Insight

Surgical Scoliosis Treatments

What is Scoliosis?

Adult Scoliosis Treatments

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