Preparing for a corrective spine osteotomy
In preparation for a corrective spine osteotomy, you may be asked to quit smoking as nicotine interferes with bone fusion, a necessary process. You should also inform your doctor of any medications or supplements you may be taking, especially those that may thin the blood. Any allergies to substances, food or medications should also be noted.
During a corrective spine osteotomy
During a corrective spine osteotomy, you are placed face-down on the operating table to give the surgeon access to your spine. You are then placed under general anaesthesia so that you remain unconscious throughout the procedure.
There are some variations between a PCO, PSO and VSR. For example, in a PSO, the operating table is hinged to form an inverted V. In PSO and VSR, your doctor may use spinal cord monitoring techniques such as somato-sensory evoked potentials (SSEP) or motor-evoked potentials (MEP). This helps to monitor your nerve function and spinal safety during the procedure.
The surgeon will then make an incision over the spine, exposing the spinal column. Screws are then inserted above and below the area where the bone is to be removed.
The surgeon then removes the necessary bony projections and sections of the bone and vertebrae. Next, the surgeon aligns the vertebrae, using implants and inserting rods into the screws to hold the spine in position while it heals. Then, a bone graft or transplanted bone is applied, which will fuse with the vertebrae, providing spinal stability. Finally, the incision is then sutured in layers and the wound dressed.
After a corrective spine osteotomy
After a spinal osteotomy, depending on which procedure you have undergone, a hospital stay of up to one week may be expected. During this time, post-surgical pain can be managed with medication.
You should speak to your doctor about how soon you can expect to resume walking and normal activity.
Recovery period for a corrective spine osteotomy
Recovery period will vary based on your procedure and you may need to come back for X-rays to monitor how well the bone is fusing.
Physiotherapy will aid in your recovery and you should follow your doctors’ advice on when you can safely take part in vigorous or strenuous activities.
Risks associated with a spinal osteotomy
- Nerve damage
- Damage to the spinal column