Skip to content

Osteoarthritis Health Center

Font Size

Scoliosis Surgery: Anterior Approach - Topic Overview

The anterior approach for scoliosis surgery is done through an incision made in the front or, more commonly, the side of the body. The anterior approach may be used for middle or lower spinal curves.

This technique is better for severe curves, including rigid curves in adults. But it has greater surgical risks than posterior surgery alone. Surgeons often use both the anterior and posterior approaches when they operate on a person who has scoliosis. Using this combination of techniques, surgeons can remove discs in the spine and graft bone into the spaces. This is done to help make the spine more correctable.

Recommended Related to Osteoarthritis

6 Ways to Ruin Your Knees

 Whether you're a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior, or totally laid-back when it comes to exercise, knowing how to protect your knees from damage can mean the difference between a fulfilling lifestyle and longterm, strained mobility. Cruising on the track in the heat of a roller derby match, 27-year-old Rachel Piplica was not at all prepared for the realization that her knee could sideline her from competitive skating for months, possibly years. "Suddenly, I heard a pop and it felt like...

Read the 6 Ways to Ruin Your Knees article > >

Other techniques done with an anterior approach use large metal screws that are attached to each vertebra. Each screw has a large head with a hole for the passage of a rod that is tightened at each level. A brace or cast may be needed for about 6 months following surgery. This technique is not recommended for children younger than 10 years because of the small size of their vertebrae.

A new technique known as endoscopic spine surgery is being developed and used. This involves making several small incisions in the chest or abdomen and inserting a video scope and narrow instruments to operate. This method may cause less discomfort and allow for a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Scoliosis Surgery: Anterior Approach Topics

Today on WebMD

elderly hands
Even with arthritis pain.
woman exercising
Here are 7 easy tips.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
Keep Joints Healthy
SLIDESHOW
Chronic Pain Healthcheck
HEALTH CHECK
 
close up of man with gut
Article
man knee support
Article
 
woman with cold compress
QUIZ
Man doing tai chi
Article
 
hand gripping green rubber ball
Slideshow
person walking with assistance
Slideshow