WellSpan Home

Scoliosis Surgery: Anterior Approach

Topic Overview

The anterior approach for scoliosis surgery is done through an incision made in the front or, more commonly, the side of the body. The anterior approach may be used for middle or lower spinal curves.

This technique is better for severe curves, including rigid curves in adults. But it has greater surgical risks than posterior surgery alone. Surgeons often use both the anterior and posterior approaches when they operate on a person who has scoliosis. Using this combination of techniques, surgeons can remove discs in the spine and graft bone into the spaces.

Other techniques done with an anterior approach use large metal screws that are attached to each vertebra. Each screw has a large head with a hole for the passage of a rod that is tightened at each level. A brace or cast may be needed for about 6 months following surgery. This technique is not recommended for children younger than 10 years because of the small size of their vertebrae.

A new technique known as endoscopic spine surgery is being developed and used. This involves making several small incisions in the chest or abdomen and inserting a video scope and narrow instruments to operate. This method may cause less discomfort and allow for a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

Current as ofMarch 21, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×