Spinal Fusion - Alternatives


ScoliCare can provide advice on non-surgical scoliosis treatment options for children and adults. In certain cases, there may be alternatives to scoliosis surgery. Our team can assess whether options such as bracing might provide a good outcome instead of surgery, or halt progression in cases where surgery is delayed (e.g. waiting list times or achieving full trunk growth).

Avoiding surgery

In some cases, surgery may be avoided. In smaller curves, scoliosis specific exercise programs such as SEAS have shown to stop curves from getting worse [1]. In larger curves, scoliosis bracing has been shown to be effective in helping many patients to avoid surgery [2].

There are still some cases where scoliosis surgery may be the best option – usually highly progressive cases or if non-surgical approaches are not working [3].  In these cases, the ScoliCare Clinics team will refer out to a spinal surgeon.

There are different types of scoliosis surgery. Spinal Fusion is the most common type of operation which connects the vertebrae in your spine using metal rods and screws to fuse together [4].

Spinal fusion is done in one of two ways:

  • Posterior fusion: where the rods are attached to your spine directly from behind. This is the most common and widely used approach. 
  • Anterior fusion: where the rods are attached to your spine from the side of your trunk.

Both procedures have the goal of aligning the spine and holding it in position. Like any surgery, complications may occur [5].

To find out if non-surgical treatment is the right option for your or your child’s case, contact us for an opinion. 

Call 1300 650 205

 

1. Monticone, M., et al., Active self-correction and task-oriented exercises reduce spinal deformity and improve quality of life in subjects with mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Results of a randomised controlled trial. European Spine Journal, 2014. 23(6): p. 1204-1214.
2. Weinstein, S.L., et al., Effects of bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013. 369(16): p. 1512-1521.
3. Negrini, S., et al., 2016 SOSORT guidelines: Orthopaedic and rehabilitation treatment of idiopathic scoliosis during growth. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, 2018. 13(1).
4. Bridwell, K.H., Surgical treatment of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis. Spine, 1999. 24(24): p. 2607-2616.
5. Coe, J.D., et al., Complications in spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in the new millennium. A report of the Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality Committee. Spine, 2006. 31(3): p. 345-349.