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Mater Private - Mr. Paul D Kiely

The implants secure the bones of the spine, enabling fusion to take place. As with any surgical procedure, there are general risks and procedure specific risks with spine stabilization surgery. The more common general risks of surgery include the risk of adverse reactions to the anesthetic, post-operative pneumonia, blood clots in the legs deep vein thrombosis that may travel to the lungs pulmonary embolus , infection at the site of surgery and blood loss during surgery requiring a transfusion.

The specific risks of spinal deformity surgery include the risk of injury to the nerves or spinal cord resulting in pain or even paralysis, the estimated risk of paralysis for major spinal reconstructions is somewhere around 1 in 10, , the instrumentation breaking, dislodging or irritating the surrounding tissues, and pain from the surgery itself.

Risks of spine stabilization surgery are dependent on the individual, please discuss your risk level with your surgeon, prior to surgery.

To prepare for spine stabilization surgery, quit smoking if you smoke, exercise on a regular basis to improve your recovery rate, stop taking any non-essential medications and any herbal remedies which may react with anesthetics or other medications and ask your surgeon all the questions you may have. Call Eastern Standard Time. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are involved in ongoing studies that investigate new drugs and treatment approaches for managing diseases or deformities like scoliosis or spondylolisthesis.

Participants in these clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. There are currently more than 1, active clinical studies underway. As modern medical care grows more complex, patients can feel overwhelmed. The opportunity to consult a recognized authority about a particular diagnosis and treatment can bring peace of mind at an emotionally difficult time.

A second opinion may be beneficial when:. An easy-to-use, secure, from-home second opinion service, e-Cleveland Clinic utilizes sophisticated Internet technology to make the skills of some of our specialists available to patients and their physicians, anytime, anywhere.

Learn more about e-Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.


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Spinal deformity fundamentals Scoliosis and Kyphosis Scoliosis and kyphosis are curvatures of the spine. Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is another deformity of the spine where one vertebrae a spinal bone slips forward in relation to the one below. What causes the Scoliosis and Kyphosis? What causes Spondylolisthesis? Scoliosis and Kyphosis In most cases, the cause behind scoliosis and kyphosis is unknown.

The commonly noted symptoms of the curved-spine condition include: Uneven shoulders or waistline One or both shoulder blades sticking out Leaning slightly to one side A hump on one side of the back Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is typically caused by a developmental defect of the arch of the vertebrae. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis include: Low back pain Muscle spasms Thigh or leg pain Weakness What are my treatment options? Non-operative Treatment Scoliosis and kyphosis treatment methods depend on your age, how much more you are likely to grow, the degree and pattern of your spine's curve, the extent of pain, functional limitation and cosmetic appearance of the spine.

Spondylolisthesis Non-operative Treatment To ease pain and muscle spasm, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants, acetaminophen, or anti-inflammatory agents. Physical therapy, non-aerobic exercise, and stretching may be used to improve flexibility of the trunk muscles. Other non-operative treatments may include a custom-made brace or corset designed to reduce pressure on the lower back. Corsets are made of soft fabric with rigid supports. They are typically worn throughout the day and removed before you go to bed.

Braces are made of plastic and can be either customized or ready-made. Surgical Treatment Spine stabilization surgery is recommended when the spondylolisthesis irritates a nerve and results in numbness or weakness of the leg or, very rarely, incontinence. What are the risks of spine stabilization surgery?

Is the surgery safe? How do I prepare for spine stabilization surgery? What are the Cleveland Clinic physician credentials? All doctors at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Spine Health are fellowship-trained and board-certified or board-eligible in orthopaedic surgery or neurosurgery. In addition, our surgeons have subspecialty training and years of experience in spine surgery.

All Cleveland Clinic staff radiologists are board-certified or board-eligible in radiology or have the international equivalent. All Cleveland Clinic staff rehabilitation specialists are board-certified or board-eligible in physical medicine and rehabilitation, or have the international equivalent. Because diastematomyelia congenital splitting of the spinal cord , syringomyelia cavity in the spinal cord , a tethered cord, or a spinal tumor can cause spinal curvature, physicians should ask the patient questions concerning neurologic symptoms.

Neurofibromatosis can be associated with scoliosis, and a unilateral cavus foot can be a manifestation of intraspinal pathology. Magnetic resonance imaging should be obtained in patients with an onset of scoliosis before eight years of age, rapid curve progression of more than 1 degree per month, an unusual curve pattern such as left thoracic curve, neurologic deficit, or pain.

Spine abnormalities may present during routine examinations of to year-olds. Many examination techniques are used to evaluate patients presenting with spinal curvatures. Traditionally, the Adam's test with level plane and ruler or a scoliometer evaluation of the patient while bending forward was used to guide clinical decision-making. Height measurements of the patient sitting and standing should be taken in the physician's office every three to four months. Documenting rapid height increases helps the physician determine the onset of the adolescent growth spurt and gauge the risk of rapid progression of the spinal curve.

Sitting heights can be measured with the patient sitting in a standard chair and the height of the seat subtracted from the total height. Changes in sitting height can be less than changes in standing height and give a better estimate of truncal growth rate.

Providing safe, expert imaging for your child

Any examination data must be combined with a thorough history to assess skeletal and sexual maturation. If an examination of the back is conducted, the physician should begin with a survey of the back while the patient is standing. Physicians may be misled by scapular or shoulder asymmetry and should focus on waist crease asymmetry or spine deviation during the upright examination.

When measuring waist crease asymmetry, subtract perpendicular height from the iliac crests on each side. Radiographs should only be considered when a patient has a curve that might require treatment or could progress to a stage requiring treatment usually 40 to degrees. The standard radiologic evaluation of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis consists of standing posteroanterior radiographs of the full spine.

Follow-up is necessary in those patients with severe curves who are at risk for significant curve progression or require some form of treatment. Any discrepancy in leg length should be corrected with a block placed under the patient's shorter leg when radiographs are taken. One study 23 has shown that long-term management of scoliosis poses no radiograph-related risks to patients, but posteroanterior views assure maximal safety by minimizing radiation to the breasts.

The Cobb method is used to measure the degree of scoliosis on the posteroanterior radiograph Figure 2. Standard measurement error is 3 to 5 degrees for the same observer and 5 to 7 degrees for different observers when the same end vertebrae are used for measurements. To use the Cobb method of measuring the degree of scoliosis, choose the most tilted vertebrae above and below the apex of the curve.

The angle between intersecting lines drawn perpendicular to the top of the top vertebrae and the bottom of the bottom vertebrae is the Cobb angle. Posteroanterior radiographs should be viewed in reverse to normal chest radiographs with the patient's right side on the physician's right side. Curves are named for the location of the apex vertebrae, and may be described as thoracic Figure 3 , lumbar, thoracolumbar, cervical, or double major two curves in different spinal regions. A thoracolumbar curve Figure 4 has an apex vertebrae at T12 or L1.

Thoracic and lumbar curves have apex vertebrae in the middle of the thoracic and lumbar regions, respectively. A double curve Figure 5 has a major and a minor curve based on size and flexibility and a primary and secondary curve based on respective development.

Victorian Comprehensive Scoliosis Centre

A compensatory curve is nonstructural and develops to balance out a primary curve. A nonstructural curve differs from a structural curve because it can correct on lateral bending, distraction, or sitting. Posteroanterior radiograph of the spine in a patient with a thoracic spinal curve. Right thoracic curve, T most tilted vertebrae above apex of curve T6, most tilted vertebrae below apex of curve T The degree of curvature is Posteroanterior radiograph of the spine in a patient with a thoracolumbar spinal curve.

Left thoracolumbar curve, TL3 most tilted vertebrae above apex of curve T10, most tilted vertebrae below apex of curve L3. Posteroanterior radiograph of the spine in a patient with a double spinal curve. Double curve: right thoracic curve, T with a degree of curvature of 45; left lumbar curve, TL4 with a degree of curvature of The primary goal of treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is preventing progression of the curve magnitude.

Modular seating for paralytic scoliosis: Design and initial experience

Curves less than 10 to 15 degrees require no active treatment and can be monitored, unless the patient's bones are very immature and progression is likely. Moderate curves between 25 and 45 degrees in patients lacking skeletal maturity used to be treated with bracing, but this treatment has never been proven to prevent curve progression.

Poor compliance with wearing a brace obviates any potential usefulness of the therapy.


  1. Radiologic Clinics of North America.
  2. References.
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  6. Evidence 27 — 29 showing the low symptomatic burden of patients with curves less than 60 degrees has influenced this trend away from treatment with bracing. Most patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who require treatment with a brace may use a thoracolumbar-sacral orthosis TLSO or a cervicothoracolumbar-sacral orthosis CTLSO. Recommendations for optimal use of braces vary from eight to 24 hours a day depending on the style of brace chosen.

    In patients with a curve severe enough to require surgery greater than 45 degrees in adolescents and greater than 50 degrees in adults , rod placement and bone grafting may be necessary to achieve partial or complete correction. Patient preference is essential in deciding on a surgical treatment, and primary care physicians should work closely with patients and their families to reach optimal individual outcomes.

    Already a member or subscriber? Log in. He completed a residency in family medicine and a fellowship in primary care at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Address correspondence to K. Allen Greiner, M. Reprints are not available from the author.


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    Spinal Deformity & Scoliosis

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    Bowel Imaging, An Issue of Radiologic Clinics of North America, 1e The Clinics Radiology

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