Thoracoscopic (minimally invasive) spinal surgery

What is thoracoscopic scoliosis surgery?

Most commonly this technique is offered to teenagers, who have a scoliosis curve of around 40 degrees or more in the thoracic spine. The surgery is performed under a special anaesthetic that permits one of the lungs to be deflated to expose the spine inside the chest cavity. While asleep on your side, special keyhole telescopic instruments allow the surgeon to enter the chest cavity through 3 or 4 portal incisions made in between the ribs, each 2cm long. Some of the discs are removed and bone graft is placed in the disc spaces between the vertebrae involved to fuse them together. This fusion can take six to twelve months to be completely solid. A single screw is placed into each vertebra bone (usually 6 – 8 screws). A single titanium metal rod is then attached to the screws, which carefully corrects and stabilises the scoliosis curve while the bones are fusing together.

The goal of this surgery is to fuse a section of the spine so that the scoliosis will not continue to worsen, and to gain some correction. It is not possible or desirable to fully straighten the spine. The titanium rod supports the vertebrae while the bones are fusing together. The metal rod and screws are not removed and stay permanently attached to the spinal column. There is usually no need for a brace after this type of surgery.

X-Rays before surgery:

Standing back view
Side view
Bending over roll

X-Rays after surgery:

Standing View
Side View
Side view
Scars at 2 months
Scars at 2 months

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Patient and staff safety is our highest priority at Briz Brain & Spine.

For patients with appointments, if you are suffering any symptoms such as fever, dry cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath or have recently travelled interstate, overseas or been in contact with someone who has returned from interstate or overseas, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact our friendly reception team before attending the clinic. A telehealth appointment may be an alternative method of speaking with our surgeons.

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During this current outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus we want to assure all of our patients that we will continue to implement procedures to maintain a hygienic clinical environment. This includes:

-          Disinfecting and wiping down all treatment surfaces

-          Regular cleaning of rooms and shared equipment

-          Thorough cleaning of all communal items including reception chairs, tables, door handles, pens and other shared items

-          All staff have access to infection control procedures and training to implement these as necessary

We are carefully monitoring the directions and advice of Queensland Health, the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organization. In the meantime, it is still business as usual and our doors are open.

Briz Brain & Spine wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused and thanks you for your cooperation and understanding during this unprecedented situation.