Scoliosis occurs when a person's spine grows with an unusual sideways curve. Minor cases of scoliosis may not trouble the person afflicted, and they can often go undiagnosed. More severe cases of scoliosis can cause pain and deformity. Scoliosis typically becomes a problem when a child begins to grow into an adult at puberty.
If your child's pediatrician has diagnosed them with this condition, they may suggest braces and other noninvasive treatments. In some cases, surgery may be required. Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery can relieve your child's pain and prevent spinal deformities. Here are four things parents should know about this operation:
1. Your child may be put to sleep during the procedure.
Your child may be given general anesthesia before their scoliosis surgery. With general anesthesia, they will sleep through the entire procedure. General anesthesia carries some risks, but a skilled anesthesiologist will be present at all times to monitor your child and keep them safe. In some cases, your child's surgeon may decide that local anesthesia is sufficient, which means your child will be given injections to numb the surgical site. When local anesthesia is administered, your child will be sedated but awake.
2. Your child's spine will be monitored through imaging devices.
During minimally invasive scoliosis procedure, a doctor makes small incisions along your child's spine, which allows them to insert tools to correct improper spinal curves. Imaging devices are used to allow the surgeon to see what they're doing. Continuous x-rays allow doctors to monitor your child's spine during the procedure. The minimally invasive surgical technique is preferred because it minimizes your child's risk of developing an infection.
3. Your child will need to stay in the hospital overnight.
While minimally invasive scoliosis surgery allows children to recover more quickly, your child will still need to stay in the hospital overnight. Medical personnel will monitor the early stages of your child's recovery. They will be given pain medication to keep them comfortable immediately following their operation. Your child will be released into your care after a couple of days.
4. Your child should start feeling normal within a couple of weeks.
Initially, your child may feel some pain and stiffness in their back. They will be advised to rest until they're feeling better, avoiding strenuous activity that could compromise the healing process. However, most children feel ready to resume everyday activities within a couple of weeks. Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery will allow your child to get back to school as soon as possible.