Spinal Deformity Surgery | MedStar Health

If you or your child suffer from a spinal deformity, the orthopedic spine surgeons at MedStar Health will work with your family to correct the problem with braces and other non-surgical approaches. If these conservative treatments do not improve the deformity, surgery may be your best option. We use a variety of new, less invasive techniques to correct spinal deformity. In addition, the doctors at MedStar Health will work with other specialists involved in your care, so your treatment is multidisciplinary and comprehensive.

What is spinal deformity surgery?

Spinal deformities, such as adolescent scoliosis, may require surgical intervention when conservative options, like physical therapy or bracing, do not improve the condition. Most commonly, corrective spine surgery is used when you suffer from a deformity that continues to worsen over time or leads to further medical complications.

Why is spinal deformity surgery performed?

We use surgery to treat the following spinal conditions:

What does surgery involve?

In most cases, we try to avoid treating scoliosis and other deformities with surgery. But if surgery becomes necessary, we take time to fully explain the options. Together, we weigh all of the possibilities and help you come to a decision that is right for you.

When surgery is recommended, it can be used to straighten the spine and/or release the pressure on spinal nerves. This often requires uniting the vertebrae using special implants to keep the spine together. Techniques we use to do this include:

  • Posterior approach – Gain access to the spine from the back of the body
  • Anterior approach – Gain access to the spine from the front of the body
  • Lateral approach – Gain access to the spine from the side of the body
  • Combination approach – Gain access to the spine from both the front and back of the body

What does recovery from surgery involve?

Recovery typically requires physical therapy, including daily walking. You will likely need to restrict the amount that you bend, lift, and twist for the first few months following your surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will go over all of the details of your recovery with you, so you know exactly what to expect after your surgery. During recovery, our team will work closely with you, your family, and any other specialists needed to help ensure a successful outcome.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Our goal is for you to experience the following benefits:

  • Corrected deformity
  • Low chance of deformity returning
  • Back pain relief
  • Restored range of motion
  • Ability to return to physical activities