Discovering your child’s been diagnosed with scoliosis can be terrifying. A million thoughts run through a parents’ head. It’s important to take a breath and find some answers.
Does My Child Need Surgery?
Your child may likely not need surgery if their spinal curve is less than 26 degrees or if they are almost fully grown.
Instead, it’s recommended that the curve is simply monitored to ensure it does not worsen. This may involve checks ups every four months and x-rays.
What is Bracing?
A brace will not straighten your child’s spine, but it will prevent it from getting worse. Bracing is recommended when the spinal curve is between 26-40 degrees and the child is still growing. Braces often decrease the need for future operations.
How Safe is Spinal Fusion Surgery?
If your child’s spinal curve is greater than 45 degrees, surgery may be recommended. This surgery is called spinal fusion. Spinal fusions straighten the spinal curve and then fuse the vertebrae together into one bone.
How it Works
- The surgeon makes an incision in your child’s neck, back, side, abdomen, or throat to access the spine.
- Bone graft (small pieces of bone) are either taken from a bone bank or the child’s body, usually the pelvis.
- Bone graft is inserted in spaces between the vertebrae and fused. Metal rods, attached by hooks, screws, and/or wires, hold the bones in place during fusion
The description of the surgery is often worry-inducing, but spinal fusion is a safe procedure. Keep in mind that if your child’s scoliosis is left untreated, it can affect lung function
Life After Spinal Fusion
As we’ve covered, there are a lot of myths and facts about scoliosis. There are common misconceptions about spinal fusion, as well.
Metal placed in the spine won’t always set metal detectors off, and when it does, security is usually understanding. Contact sport is advised against, but remaining active and healthy is recommended. Spinal fusion doesn’t affect fertility or childbearing either.
What it will do is straighten your child’s spine and impact their health positively.
If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, speak with one of the experts at Sonoran Spine. We’re dedicated to finding both surgical and non-surgical solutions for our patients. Contact us today.