Cervical deformity correction is a procedure used to correct kyphosis in the cervical spine. While the thoracic spine can suffer from scoliosis (sideways curvature), the cervical spine is usually afflicted with kyphosis, an inward curvature of the spine that forces the patient’s head forward. This type of deformity correction is done via surgical correction and fusion of the spine. To find out more about kyphosis correction and other treatment options, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. For an appointment or consultation, call Call407-303-5452.
What Is Kyphosis?
Kyphosis can be confused with scoliosis, but it is a different condition. Kyphosis causes the spine to curve like the letter C, whereas scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways and resemble the letter S. Kyphosis can also be caused by a number of other factors, most of which do not affect the development of scoliosis, including blunt force trauma, fracturing and arthritis (due to bone overgrowth).
How Is Cervical Deformity Correction Performed?
In order to correct a cervical deformity, Dr. Chetan Patel will have to conduct spine surgery. The procedure is relatively straightforward. Essentially, it involves the removal of bone material, the insertion of donor bone and hardware, and the successful fusion of the spine. Fusion does limit movability in the spine, but it has been proven to have close to a 100% success rate in cervical deformity correction for the long term.
The surgeon will perform a full evaluation of your condition prior to determining that surgery is the right choice. Some patients will not benefit from surgery, even if there is limited mobility from spinal kyphosis. For instance, if there is little or no pain involved and the curve of the spine is not worsening, most surgeons will recommend against surgery. However, for patients with chronic pain and a worsening curve, surgery can help alleviate the symptoms and rectify the situation.
Some patients will require a multi-step surgery to correct their condition. In these instances, an anterior incision will be made and a corpectomy performed (removal of the vertebra and disc). A discectomy might be required instead, rather than a full corpectomy. Both are designed to relieve compression on the spinal cord and nerves.
The actual deformity correction will be achieved with the use of hardware installed on the spine to facilitate fusion. “Segmental instrumentation” is the term used to refer to this type of hardware, but it basically means plates and screws attached to more than one vertebral segment, holding bone grafts in place. Once fusion has been achieved, the segment will be immovable, which corrects the curved deformity.
Recovery from Cervical Deformity Correction
The recovery time for deformity correction is generally greater than that for a discectomy or corpectomy alone. Patients will need to spend a day or two in the hospital after the procedure so the surgeon can gauge the success of the procedure and watch the healing process. Afterward, it can be several months before you can return to your full activities, though you will be up and walking around soon after being discharged from the hospital.
To learn more about cervical deformity correction, corpectomy, discectomy and other surgical options, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.