While most physicians recommend conservative adult scoliosis treatment, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy, some cases may warrant surgery. Scoliosis, in general, is characterized by an abnormal S- or C-shaped lateral curve that can occur at any level of the spine. Adult scoliosis typically occurs in the lumbar (lower back) spine because of natural, degenerative changes that affect spinal components over time. At one time, patients requiring scoliosis surgery had to undergo traditional open back fusion, which involves large incisions, the dissection of muscles and other soft tissues, placement of bulky spine-stabilizing hardware and a long, difficult recovery.
Today, the orthopedic experts at Laser Spine Institute proudly offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are effective alternatives to traditional open spine fusion and allow patients to recover faster. Instead of cutting through muscles, surgeons make small incisions and push aside musculature. Small surgical instruments are funneled and used to treat the affected area of the spine.
Minimally invasive nerve decompression procedures
Adult scoliosis can lead to other conditions, such as spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and foraminal stenosis (narrowing of the passageways through which spinal nerve roots travel). Compression of lumbar neural structures can cause localized pain, as well as radiating pain, numbness, weakness and tingling that affects the lower extremities. Laser Spine Institute offers adult scoliosis treatment in the form of minimally invasive lumbar nerve decompression procedures known as laminotomies and foraminotomies.
Minimally invasive stabilization procedures
In addition to nerve decompression, the orthopedic surgeons at Laser Spine Institute can also address lumbar deformities caused by scoliosis with minimally invasive fusion procedures. As mentioned previously, these procedures – namely, lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) – require only small incisions and no muscle dissection. Both procedures – which involve removing damaged intervertebral discs, realigning vertebrae and placing supportive implants – can help patients recover faster than if they underwent a traditional open back fusion.
Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our minimally invasive adult scoliosis treatment options.