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

Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis

As you age, your chance of developing osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear, increases. The joint damage associated with osteoarthritis causes swelling, pain, and deformity. Here is information about how osteoarthritis affects the foot and ankle and information you can use to help you manage this debilitating condition.

Read the Foot and Ankle Osteoarthritis 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 26, 2013
    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
     

    WebMD Special Sections