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Children's Spine Surgery Overview
Children’s spine surgery is used to correct the problems with the spinal cord that exist from time of birth in children and adolescents. The problems in the spine are known as the “congenital anomalies: and include scoliosis (curving of the spine), spondylolysis (stress fracture of the spine), kyphosis (increasing round back of the spine) and spondylolisthesis (movement of one part of the spine to another). These spinal disorders along with other multiple syndromes and conditions are linked with the spinal deformity.
In this article, we’ll discuss about the types of children’s spine surgery, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.
Types of Children's Spine Surgery
There are a huge number of medical treatments and surgeries addressing the spine disorders that offer the next generation care to the infants, children and adolescents. The children’s spine surgery is designed to cure the pediatric spine problems and the deformities. This will ensure that the children are well-treated for their spine condition.
The different types of spine surgery are listed below:
- Early onset scoliosis:
The spine curves very quickly during the skeletal growth in the early onset scoliosis in children. If the fusion of the spine is performed at a very young age, then the children’s lung will continue its growth. This will increase the likelihood for a deformity in front of the chest called “crank-shaft deformity” to continue its growth and rotate while the back is still fused. In such a case, a limit fusion with instrumentation is placed along the spine that will direct the growth of the spine.
- Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis:
Spondylosis refers to the fracture in the spine, which is usually seen among the high level athletes. This condition may progress to the spondylolisthesis where a vertebrae begins to slip forward on the other.
This condition is also known as a hunchback, in which the spine in the upper back has an excessive curvature. The upper back is thought to have a slight natural curve, if you have this condition, then you’ll have a visible hump on the upper back. This kind of the spinal disorder will lead to the excessive pressure on the spine and will cause you pain.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis:
It refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine that is usually seen in late childhood or the adolescence. The spine expands a side-to-side curvature along in elongated the “S” or the “C” shape, instead of growing straight.
- This condition usually occurs during the adolescent growth spurt that is a time when the children are growing rapidly. In most cases, the abnormal spinal curve is stable while in some children the curve is progressive. For some unknown reasons, the severe and progressive curves are frequently seen in girls than the boys.
Children’s Spine Surgery Procedure:
The ultimate goal of the treatment during the children’s spine surgery is to stop the progression of the illness and prevent further deformity. Depending upon the severity of your child’s case, the spinal surgery experts will perform the proper treatment and surgery plan based on the diagnostic results. An outline about some of the complex cases of the children’s spine surgery are given below:
- 1. Children's spinal surgery for scoliosis
Before surgery, the child will be given general anesthesia so that he/she becomes unconscious and do not feel pain during the surgery. The surgeon will make at least one cut (either posterior or anterior) to get to the child’s spine. After making the cut, the surgeon will move the muscle aside so that the joints between the different vertebrae can be removed. Often bone grafts are used as a replacement along with the metal instruments like hooks, rods, wires or screws to hold the spine together. The surgeon will observe the nerves that come from the spine using the special equipments to ensure no damage occurs to any of the nerve roots. Usually, this surgery will take about 4-6 hours and it may be longer or shorter for some children.
- 2. Children’s spinal surgery for kyphosis
Surgery can dramatically improve the rigid or progressive kyphosis greater than 80 degrees. It is recommended to discuss about the procedure with your child’s doctor.
- Spinal Fusion: This procedure commonly includes the placement of rods, hooks and screws in the spine so as to prevent the worsening of the spinal deformity and improve the appearance. India pediatric orthopedic surgeons have a great deal of experience in treating all the types of spinal conditions in children, including the mild and most severe ones.
- Growing Rod: The growing rods do not grow actually, but they can be lengthened with the minor surgery that gets repeated every 6 to 8 months. The goal of this procedure is to allow the continuous growth while correcting the curve. Every six months, the child returns to the doctor to lengthen the rod, which will help the child’s growth. When the child achieves full growth, then the rods are replaced and the spinal fusion is performed.
- Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR): This procedure is used for managing severe scoliosis in young patients. This technique will support the continuous growth of the spine in younger children, thereby allows the normal development and functioning.
- 3. Children’s spinal surgery for spondylolisthesis:
This surgery will stabilize the levels of the spine that are slipping by placing the bone graft to fuse the spine bone together. Small crews or metal rods will be used for older children and adolescents with significant slippage. After this fusion surgery, it will take about 4-8 months for the bones to solidly mend together.
Children’s spinal surgery: Is it effective?
The children’s spinal surgery is effective as it is performed by the best pediatric spine surgeon having vast experience in treating the pediatric spinal surgery patients. The spine surgeons typically treat children from the newborn stages through the teen years and treat children in a unique way by making them feel cooperative and comfortable.
Recovery after the children’s spinal surgery is often faster. Your child will require to stay in hospital for about 3-4 days post surgery. A tube may be inserted into the chest of your child to drain the fluid build-up and it will be removed after 24-72 hours. Your child may be given pain medication.
Changes in lifestyle after surgery:
The repaired spine should be kept in proper position to keep it aligned. Doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your child at home. Your child’s spine will look much straighter after surgery. Children having this surgery will possibly gain height from having a straighter spine.
Cost in India:
In India you will get about 60-85% savings for children’s spinal surgery as compared to the rates in the US and the UK. Our highly skilled pediatric spine surgeons who have access the latest technological advancement in children’s spine treatments and surgery. We understand your anxiety and concern and works with the child and family to provide complete care throughout your medical treatment.