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Surgery for Scoliosis

Recovering From Scoliosis Surgery

Most people stay in the hospital for five to seven days after surgery for scoliosis. It usually takes three months for everything to fuse. It will also take some time for muscle strength to return.

Risks of Surgery for Scoliosis

Like any procedure, scoliosis surgery can have complications, which include but are not limited to:
  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Implant failure
  • Pseuduoarthrosis, or failure of the bones to fuse, resulting in partial loss of correction
  • Reaction to anesthesia.
Additional risks of surgery, though rare, include:
  • Dislodging a hook
  • Fracturing a fused vertebra
  • Damaging the spinal cord, which could lead to muscle weakness and bowel or bladder problems.

Questions to Ask About Scoliosis Surgery

Patients and parents who are thinking about surgery for scoliosis may want to ask the following questions:
  • What are the benefits from surgery?
  • What are the risks?
  • What techniques will be used for the scoliosis surgery?
  • Is there chronic back pain afterwards?
  • What devices will be used to keep the spine stable after surgery?
  • How straight will the spine be after surgery?
  • How long will the hospital stay be?
  • Where will the incisions be made?
  • How long will it take to recover from surgery for scoliosis?
  • Will the patient's growth be limited?
  • How flexible will the spine remain?
  • Can the curve worsen or progress after surgery?
  • Will additional surgery be likely?
  • Will the patient be able to do all the things he or she wants to do following scoliosis surgery?
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