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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for Scoliosis

On Topic Video Transcript

Adam S. Kanter, MD

Director, UPMC Minimally Invasive Spine Program

Scoliosis, or deformity, is an abnormal curvature of the spine and typically this is something that can go untreated for years and years until patients get into the later adulthood, and then it becomes a problem for them as they start developing degenerative changes on top of that scoliosis that can ultimately lead to pain and symptoms that extend not only into your back, but down your legs requiring treatment from a neurosurgeon.

Treating Scoliosis Minimally Invasively

There is a variety of ways that you can treat scoliosis, and there is the traditional treatments which are open procedures performed from the back when necessary. But, more recently, we’ve come up with some minimally invasive procedures to treat scoliosis and deformity and oftentimes what we are capable of doing is coming from the side of the spine and removing portions of the spine called the discs that are often the parts that have become abnormally oriented. If we remove the disc, which is in a wedge shape, and we replace it with what we call a cage, or bone graft, that now realigns those vertebrae above and below and makes them parallel again, that enables us to straighten out the spine and relieve some of the pressure on the nerves caused by that scoliosis.

The Minimally Invasively Advantage

During the surgery there is a lot less blood loss, there is a lot less destruction to the surrounding tissues, and therefore patients have much less pain associated with the surgery itself. They are out of the hospital faster and they are able to simply get back to life much, much quicker.

The UPMC Advantage

There are numerous reasons to come to UPMC to have scoliosis correction surgery. You are evaluated by a group of specialists, an entire team of people that can determine what the appropriate treatment strategy is. We know how to do both open surgery, as well as minimally invasive surgery. You have the right people making the right decisions to help the patient determine what is going to be the best approach to treating their pathology...their problem.

For more information, contact the Neurosurgical Spine Services Division at the University of Pittsburgh at 412-647-3685. .

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