Kyphosis correction is one of the several spinal deformity correction surgeries done by the spinal specialists at the Virginia Spine Institute. Those with a kyphosis deformity often notice a hunchback appearance, when there is increased curvature in the thoracic spine. The goal of this surgical reconstruction surgery is to decrease patients’ symptoms while restoring their spine to a more natural position. Symptoms often include stiffness, pain and in some cases patients will have numbness or tingling.
Kyphosis correction surgery can be accomplished using minimally invasive robot-guided spine surgery. This exciting technology allows our surgeons to create and plan an individualized blueprint of the patient’s surgery using their own anatomy before stepping in the operating room.
This surgical correction does involve implantation of screws and rods that work together to correct the spinal deformity, stabilizing the spine. With time the spine will fuse as one solid piece in a new more normal alignment. This allows improvement in the patient’s quality of life by correcting his or her deformity and preventing further curve progression and worsening of symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reviewed by: Dr. Christopher Good, MD, FACS.