Everything You Wanted to Know about Scoliosis and Growth Rod Surgery



What are the early signs of scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve in the spine usually occurs during growing stages before puberty especially in the age group of 3 to 8 years.

Children suffering from scoliosis develop additional curves to either side of the body. As a result the vertebrae i.e. bones of the spine twist on each other, forming a shape of C or S, termed as scoliosis curve in the spine.

Scoliosis is often goes undetected as changes in the appearance of the back develop gradually and cause without pain.

It is therefore important for the parents to look for the early signs of scoliosis in their children, such as

  • Uneven shoulders or shoulder blades
  • Rib prominence, with one side more elevated than the other
  • Uneven waistline, with one side appearing higher than the other
  • Uneven hips
  • Reduced flexibility for bending due to rigidity that affects body motion
  • Changes in walking pattern
  • Trouble standing up straight
  • Tired feeling

However, in severe Scoliosis, the rib cage may press against the lungs and make breathing difficult and cause shortness of breath.

Is scoliosis caused by bad posture?

The commonest form of scoliosis among children during growth spurt stage is referred as idiopathic scoliosis. It is caused due to unknown reasons. Sitting with slouch, walking abnormally with uneven hips and shoulders or other bad postures usually do not cause scoliosis.Scoliosis is not caused due to sleep positioning, postures or leg length difference, backpacks or sports.

What kinds of rods are used for scoliosis?

Usually, thorax (chest) that supports development of the lungs grows during age group of 3 to 8 years and is essential for the growth of child’s body.

It is therefore essential adopt Spine or rib-based growing rod systems like Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib Device (VEPTR) before children reach the age of their skeletal maturity.

This procedure involves attachment of one or two rods to the spine with screws, hooks, and screws or ribs using special hooks and brackets. The other forms of growing rods used for scoliosis surgery include rods that are magnetically controlled. This form of surgery for scoliosis is referred as magnetically controlled growing rod surgery.

In this procedure, each magnetically controlled growing rod (MCGR) has a magnet with it. Using a remote control device externally, the magnet is triggered to make changes in the length of the rod.

This procedure does not require general anesthesia and a surgical incision and allows the child to stay awake during procedure. Growth-Guided Devices for Pediatric Scoliosis corrects the scoliosis while allowing the child to grow.

Surgeons using growth-guided devices, attach the rods to screws or wires to the anchor points, along the spine. The procedure the spine elongates along with rod to correct the deformity as the child grows. All these procedures are performed with skill, precision and precautions while preventing risks of scoliosis surgery India.

What are growing rods?

 The growing rods are rods that are implanted and attached to the spine and/or ribs with hooks and screws to correct the spine curve.

This growth-sparing procedure involves multiple procedures in order to adjust the rods with the growth of the patient.

The treatment with growth rods for correction of spinal curve allows the proper growth of the spine to allow a relevant growth in patient’s height.

How long does it take to recover from scoliosis surgery?

After first two weeks in the hospital, most patients can go home but has to exercise controlled movement, no lifting or strenuous works etc.

The patient has to go to the surgeon for periodical checkups as advised to ensure prevention of growth rod surgery risks especially infection. The primary focus remains on taking rest till critical period is over which usually takes three months.

However, patient can avail growth rod surgery advantages in India depending upon healing of incision due to scoliosis surgery.

After two to four weeks, patient can start taking bath i.e. soaking in a tub, attend school and go out with friends but with lot of caution. By eighth week patient can even go for riding in a vehicle.