Patients are diagnosed with scoliosis when their spine doctors identify an abnormal side-to-side curvature. Normally, scoliosis doesn’t result in back pain or any other symptoms. However, some cases are severe enough to cause complications. For patients with severe spine problems , surgeons may recommend a spinal fusion to prevent complications.
When the vertebrae in the spine form abnormal curvatures, it is possible that the spine can exert pressure on nearby nerves. This nerve compression can result in complications. Typically, numbness and tingling indicate a problem with the nerves. This can manifest as numbness and tingling that extends down the legs. Patients might also suffer from back pain . In very severe cases, nerve compression in the back can result in the loss of bowel or bladder control. Men may sometimes develop erectile dysfunction from nerve compression.
Cardiac and Thoracic Problems
When the spine shifts out of its proper position , it can create problems for other structures of the body. For example, the abnormal curvatures can push the ribcage against the patient’s lungs, which can cause problems breathing normally. If the ribcage presses against the heart, the heart may have trouble pumping enough blood. Heart failure and lung problems such as infections like pneumonia are some of the serious complications of scoliosis.
When scoliosis is mild, it might not affect a person much in his or her daily life. In severe cases; however, scoliosis may cause palpable discrepancies in a person’s anatomy. The patient may notice that one shoulder and hip are higher than the joints on the opposing side. Clothes may hang asymmetrically. If the patient needs to wear a back brace, he or she might have to give up certain activities. For young people, in particular, scoliosis can lead to emotional problems like poor self-esteem and increased self-consciousness. If you or your child is experiencing psychological complications of scoliosis, a patient support group may help.
The surgical team at Spine Institute of Nevada has extensive experience treating patients with scoliosis. If you have scoliosis and live near Las Vegas, you can contact our office at (702) 239-3787 to speak with a friendly representative. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options .
Spine surgery was traditionally performed as open surgery, which meant a very long incision, a lengthy hospital stay, and a greater risk of complications. Now, patients often have the option of having minimally invasive surgery to correct their back problems. Although these procedures are minimally invasive, it’s still important for patients to become fully aware of what’s involved and what they can expect before making the decision to move forward with the operation.
Each patient’s recovery time is subject to change, depending on factors like the patient’s overall health. However, patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery can expect a shorter stay in the hospital. As a general rule of thumb, minimally invasive procedures reduce the hospital stay by one-half . For example, the hospital stay for an open lumbar fusion is typically five to seven days. When this procedure is performed with minimally invasive techniques, patients might return home in two to three days.
Once you’ve returned home, it’s important to manage your medications properly or enlist the help of a family member. Your doctor might ask that you take antibiotics to prevent an infection. You may also be started on blood thinners to reduce your risk of blood clots. And you can manage your pain with pain medication. If you find that your pain is not well controlled with your current medication regimen, call your doctor for guidance.
Resuming Normal Activities
You may begin physical therapy before you return home from the hospital. After you are discharged, it’s important to keep your physical therapy appointments to facilitate your recovery and help you resume your normal activities. Some patients might be fully recovered in as few as six weeks. Talk to your doctor about when you can begin driving, working, and lifting heavy objects again.
Spine Institute of Nevada is a leader in minimally invasive procedures . Some of the minimally invasive surgeries we perform in Las Vegas include cervical discectomy, thoracic lateral fusion, lumbar microdiscectomy, and lumbar laminectomy—just to name a few. You can schedule a consult with a spine surgeon by contacting us at (702) 239-3787.
Spinal fusion is a type of spinal surgery that involves fusing two or more vertebrae together. The spine is divided into three regions: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The cervical region is the upper back and the lumbar region is the lower back. This means that a thoracic spinal fusion is performed on the middle of the back. All types of spinal fusion surgeries are performed because the spine has become unstable. They are intended to prevent further complications, such as injuries to the spinal cord and nerves.
Patients might undergo posterior thoracic fusions because of osteoporosis of the spine. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and can contribute to compression fractures. These fractures can destabilize the spine and require the patient to undergo thoracic spinal fusion. Other patients might need to have this spine surgery to treat injury to the spine or to prevent the abnormal curves caused by scoliosis from getting worse.
Spine Institute of Nevada is a leading provider of minimally invasive surgery in Las Vegas, including posterior thoracic fusions to treat unstable spines . Call (702) 239-3787 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified spine surgeon.
In many cases, patients with fleeting cases of back pain will never need to see a spine surgeon. Back pain is often the result of spending a weekend gardening or helping a friend move furniture. But in some cases, back pain doesn’t go away by itself. Sometimes, it can persist, become worse, or perhaps even indicate a serious underlying spinal problem. Because of this, it’s best not to ignore your back pain. A spine doctor can let you know why you’re experiencing symptoms and point you in the direction of a full recovery.
Your Symptoms Could Worsen
One reason why it’s best not to ignore your back pain is that your condition could become worse. Going about your usual activities—which might include heavy lifting or spending hours in an office chair—can strain the soft tissues in your back further and complicate your problem. Eventually, you might even develop new symptoms to go along with your back pain. You might experience shooting pains that extend along your legs or arms, for example. This might be accompanied by muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling.
You Might Require More Extensive Treatments
Patients with back pain can often find sufficient relief of symptoms through conservative, nonsurgical treatment options. Spine doctors generally prefer that patients try nonsurgical options first before considering spine surgery. However, if you try to ignore your back pain, it is possible that you might require more extensive treatments later, which might include surgery. For instance, a herniated disc can get better with conservative treatment. If left untreated, it is possible for it to worsen. Rarely, this can cause permanent nerve damage, saddle anesthesia, and cauda equina syndrome.
Pain Could Indicate a Serious Problem
Lastly, it’s important not to ignore your back pain because it’s possible that it’s more than a mere muscle strain. Back pain could be caused by problems that require the attention of a spine surgeon, such as a compression fracture, cervical radiculopathy, or spondylolisthesis.
Don’t delay getting a second opinion for your spine problems. Las Vegas area residents can visit Spine Institute of Nevada featuring Dr. Perry for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations. Call (702) 239-3787 or visit us online to learn more about our nonsurgical treatment options and minimally invasive surgeries.
- Back Pain
- Spinal Compression Fractures
- Disc Replacement
- Thoracic Spine
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Cervical Spine
- Lumbar Laminectomy
- Thoracic Lateral Fusion
- Spinal Tumors
- Vertebroplasty Procedure
- Spinal Deformities
- Herniated Disc
- Bone Grafts
- Kyphoplasty Procedures
- Compression Fractures
- Spinal Stenosis
- Pinched Nerves