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Scoliosis Surgery

Your backbone is a line of bones that look similar to blocks stacked on top of one another. If the blocks start to lean in one direction or the other, it can cause a curvature. This curvature can cause the stack of blocks to twist and bend. This twisting curvature in your backbone is called scoliosis (pronounced “sko-lee-OH-sis.”)

If you have a big curvature in your spine from scoliosis, your doctor will want to correct the curvature before it changes how you grow and breathe as you get older. When curvatures in our backbones become very big, doctors will recommend surgery.

During scoliosis surgery, your doctor uses medicine to help you fall asleep. Your doctor will make a thin incision in the skin on your back and then straighten out your backbones, holding them in place with metal rods and screws under your skin. You won’t feel anything during surgery. Your doctor will sew up your incision with stitches that will eventually dissolve, leaving as thin a scar as possible.

When you wake up from surgery, you and your family will meet with a special team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who will make sure you are not in a lot of pain. You will get out of bed within a day of your surgery, and begin therapy to help you return to your normal routine. As you recover:

  • You’ll spend about 1-2 days after surgery in the hospital.
  • You’ll be out of school for two weeks.
  • After about six weeks, you can return to low-impact sports like swimming and practice.
  • After three months, you can return to your normal activities – even roller coasters and back flips!

You will have checkups with your doctor following your surgery to make sure your back is responding well to the treatment.