The human spine has certain normal curves. These curves give our lower back a slight arch and position the weight of the body over the hips and pelvis allowing us to stand and move in balance. Some individuals, however, lose their normal spinal alignment due to abnormal curvature of the spine. This is not a function of poor posture, and these curves can’t be fixed by merely standing up straight.
The condition of side-to-side spinal curvature is called scoliosis. On an x-ray, spines with scoliosis look more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. The overall balance of the body can also be affected with the head or trunk shifted either to the side or forward in front of the hips. Contact us today to learn more about Dr. Stieber's NYC scoliosis treatment.
Not every NYC patient with scoliosis requires surgery. For example, brace scoliosis treatment may be recommended in younger patients who are not yet skeletally mature (still growing). Regardless of the patient’s age, scoliosis can become progressive, leading to increasing pain, deformity, and even problems with the heart and lungs (severe scoliosis).
Many patients will not need surgery and instead will benefit from a less invasive scoliosis treatment option. Dr. Stieber carefully considers the results of the patient’s physical examination, x-rays, and advanced imaging studies such as CT or MRI scans when composing a scoliosis treatment or surgical plan.
The primary purpose of scoliosis surgery is to stop the curve from progressing (getting worse) and stabilize the spine. The secondary goal of surgery is to correct the deformity. Scoliosis surgery is performed using general anesthesia. The skin area(s) is cleaned and prepared for surgery. A special computer monitoring system checks the spinal cord and nerve function throughout the procedure to prevent injury. Throughout the surgery, fluoroscopy or a type of spinal navigation system enables Dr. Stieber to view the patient’s anatomy and the surgery in real time.
New York scoliosis surgery may be performed from the front (anterior), back (posterior), or side – between the ribs (thoracoscopic) and may involve removing one or more discs (discectomy) or cutting bone (osteotomy). As an active member of the Scoliosis Research Society, Dr. Stieber is able to utilize cutting-edge minimally-invasive techniques to correct the deformity and achieve improved spinal alignment.
Bone graft is inserted into the empty space between the upper and lower vertebral bodies and around the instrumentation. Spinal instrumentation such as rods and screws are implanted to fix the spine in position. The body’s natural healing processes cause new bone to grow into and around the instrumentation resulting in spinal fusion.
Post-operative x-rays are performed to ensure curve correction and that the rods, screws, and graft are well-positioned. The wound is closed and bandaged. Dr. Stieber'sNYC scoliosis surgery usually takes several hours. Dr. Stieber discusses the type of surgery and its anticipated duration with the patient well in advance of the surgery date.
The patient will require assistance with daily tasks during the first couple of weeks following scoliosis surgery. Throughout the initial recovery period, the following movements are not permitted:
These activities will produce pain and may affect the healing process. In some cases, Dr. Stieber will prescribe a back brace to protect the area until the patient has recovered. After approximately two weeks, the patient will return to Dr. Stieber’s NYC office for a follow-up appointment. During that visit, he will assess the patient’s progress, inspect the incision site, and provide personalized guidance on returning to work, school and activities.