Scoliosis surgery is one of the more medical traditional forms of scoliosis treatment that addresses large abnormal curvatures of the spine. Generally, adult scoliosis surgery involves a long incision at the back of the spine through which the surgeon gains access to the affected bone or joint. Oftentimes, screws are inserted into the spine, and in most instances the discs are removed completely in order to loosen up the spine.
Because it is such an invasive procedure, there are inevitably certain risks involved. There are potential complications that can arise before, during, and after scoliosis surgery, which is a reason why some patients choose not to undergo surgery, regardless of the severity of their condition.
In order to be aware of the types of complications that can occur after scoliosis surgery, it is best to identify and understand the underlying causes behind them. It is also important for patients to talk about these risks with their surgeons beforehand in order to prepare themselves for what may occur after surgery.
A common side effect of adult scoliosis surgery is chronic pain. After surgery, a patient may have a greater chance of feeling severe pain in the affected area, where screws may have been inserted and/or spinal bones have been fused, resulting in limited movement in the spinal column.
Another common side effect of scoliosis surgery is hemorrhaging. Since the surgery requires a long incision, it is possible that a patient can experience a loss of blood during the process. That is why patients are often encouraged to donate blood prior to surgery, so they have their own blood on hand in case a blood transfusion is required.
Pseudoarthrosis is also a common side effect of scoliosis surgery. Pseudoarthrosis is a condition that occurs when the bones do not fuse back together, and if it develops, it is normally necessary for the patient to undergo a second surgery in order for the spinal bones to have a more successful fusion. Patients who smoke are at a higher risk of this occurring.
Children who undergo scoliosis surgery may be at risk of stunted bone growth, and infection can also occur, which, in certain cases, can lead to blood clots in the legs and lung problems. Children are also likely to need additional surgeries before they are done growing.
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