Anterior Scoliosis Correction Surgery

What is anterior spinal surgery?

This surgery is for patients who have a moderate to large scoliosis that continues to worsen. It usually involves the lower thoracic spine and the upper lumbar spine. While asleep on your side, an incision is made on your side and the lowermost rib is removed. Some of the discs are removed and bone graft is placed in the disc spaces between the vertebrae involved to fuse them together. A single screw is placed into each vertebra bone (usually 5 or 6 screws). A single titanium rod is then attached to the screws, which carefully corrects and stabilises the curve. A machine called a ‘cell saver’ is used to collect any blood lost, which is then filtered by the machine and given back to the patient.

Example 1.

Thoracolumbar Scoliosis
Anterior Rod T11-L3
Scar at 10 months Post Op

The goal of this surgery for scoliosis is to fuse a section of the spine so that the deformity will not continue to worsen. It is not possible or often desirable to fully straighten the spine, but considerable scoliosis correction and rebalancing of the spine is usually achieved. The titanium rod supports the vertebrae while the bones are fusing together. The metal work is not removed and stays permanently attached to the spinal column. There is usually no need for a brace after surgery.