When does degenerative scoliosis require surgery?

For patients with degenerative scoliosis, surgery may be recommended when nonsurgical treatments have proven ineffective after several weeks or months. While many patients do find acceptable relief from options like physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medication or hot/cold compression, there are severe cases of scoliosis that require more advanced treatment for symptom relief.

If this is your situation, it’s important to evaluate your options before consenting to an operation. You can consult another specialist or physician to make sure you were diagnosed correctly and that nonsurgical treatment options have been fully explored. It’s also important to understand the full range of surgical options, including the availability of more minimally invasive procedures that can offer relief from symptoms of scoliosis.

Minimally invasive surgery for degenerative scoliosis

For years, traditional open spine surgery was the only type of operation available to patients with degenerative spine conditions such as adult scoliosis. However, state-of-the-art surgical technology and techniques have led to the development of procedures that can use a smaller incision than traditional surgery to access the spine and decompress nerves. Here are some primary advantages of this type of approach:

  • Avoid muscle disruption. To access a patient’s spine during traditional open spine surgery, a surgeon must sever supporting muscles in the patient’s back. A surgeon performing a minimally invasive procedure uses a series of dilating tubes to access the spine without unnecessary muscle disruption.
  • Reduce hospital-associated costs. While open spine scoliosis surgery can require an average of two to five days of hospitalization, minimally invasive procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Reduced risk for complications. Traditional open spine surgery performed in a hospital has up to a 19 percent infection rate. The minimally invasive procedures at Laser Spine Institute, because they are performed in an outpatient center, have a 0.49 percent infection rate.^

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute

If you are an adult scoliosis patient who has been recommended for surgery and are concerned about some of the risks and difficulties that can come with traditional open neck or back procedures, reach out to the caring team of professionals at Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75,000 patients get their lives back from chronic neck and back pain.

For more information and to learn if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures, contact our team today for a no-cost MRI review.*