Spinal Deformity Treatment
Surgical treatment of thoracic spine deformity requires gaining access to the damaged/deformed area via an anterior incision (or less common, a posterior incision). By performing a costotransversectomy, the surgeon gains access to the damaged vertebra and can remove material, graft bone or apply bone graft substitute, as well as install instrumentation to provide support for the spine during and after the healing process. Surgery times will vary considerably depending on the cause and severity of the deformity.
The Causes of Spinal Deformity
- Kyphosis – Kyphosis is a condition in which the spine is abnormally curved. Generally, the result is one of a “bowed” or hunched back causing the patient to slouch abnormally. The symptoms of kyphosis include fatigue, a rounded appearance to the back, tenderness or stiffness in the spine, and difficulty breathing in some instances.
- Scoliosis – Scoliosis is superficially similar to kyphosis, in that it is an abnormal curving of the spine. Patients with scoliosis might have a spine that twists to resemble the letter “s” or the letter “c”. Symptoms of scoliosis include low-back pain or generalized backache, visible sideways curving of the spine, a feeling of “tiredness” in the back after prolonged sitting and/or standing, and uneven hips or shoulders (with one higher than the other).
- Fracturing – Fractures of the thoracic spine are serious, but not uncommon. Typical causes include falls from heights, violent impacts (gunshot wounds, car crashes, etc.) and sports accidents. Rotation fracture patterns, extension fracture patterns, axial burst fractures and flexion fracture patterns are all possible depending on impact location and intensity.