Laser Spine Surgery – An Option For Scoliosis Sufferers?

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People who suffer from scoliosis typically don’t notice it until it’s too late. Unfortunately, the spinal curvature can be pretty severe before people realize what’s going on. Aside from a noticeable spinal curve, people with scoliosis may notice that their shoulders and hips are uneven. Untreated, the spine may begin to twist as well causing severe back pain and problems with breathing.

A history of limited options

In the past those who suffered from S or C shaped spinal curvatures didn’t have much of a choice with their treatment options. The go to procedure was an open spine fusion surgery. This is and was a complex procedure which involved large incisions (and the resultant scars) , removal of substantial portions of the spine and replacing it with cumbersome (and bulky) devices. This procedure is intensive and the recovery for patients was long and difficult. Unfortunately, the choice for patients was essentially between further discomfort and deteriorating health or the fusion surgery.

A move to minimally invasive

Advances in minimally invasive laser spine surgery have been touted for many medical issues, and some sufferers of scoliosis have this option available to them as well. Patients with degenerative lumbar scoliosis are the best candidates for minimally invasive procedures as these procedures don’t require the dissection of any soft tissue. Typically a doctor can simply separate muscle fibers without actually cutting them. The heavy lifting of removing discs and dealing with neural structures can be done with an endoscope. Rather than completely opening up the back, these procedures can be done making incisions that are less than 20 millimeters.

There’s certainly a long way to go as far as progress for correcting scoliosis, but for some the existing minimally invasive options are a welcome addition to the surgeon’s toolbox.