If your curve is greater than 45 to 50 degrees, surgery would likely be recommended, however, several factors may influence the decision. The surgery is performed not only to improve the cosmetic deformity in your back but it will also improve your lung function. In your Scoliosis surgery, spinal fusion is done, where the curved vertebrae are fused together so that they heal into solid bone. This will prevent the curve from getting worse.
The procedures involve fusion with titanium rods and screws with the assistance of 3D C Arm and spine navigation. Most surgeries last from 4 to 8 hours, depending upon the size of patient's curves and how much of the spine needs to be fused. Usually first few days after surgery, you may experience pain, but you would improve rapidly by 3rd or 4th day and can also walk around with the help of support. Mild pain may persist, but by three to six weeks after surgery, pain medicine should no longer be necessary, you may resume routine activities within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
After the physical assessment, you shall be medically investigated for your spinal problem, which shall include MRI and special full spine x-ray. Once investigations and medical assessment are completed your surgery shall be planned. You would be encouraged to ask any questions you may have regarding surgery, hospital stay or recovery and activities after surgery.
The procedure is explained to the patient/ relative in detail and consent is undertaken. Pre-anaesthesia checkup (PAC) is done. An Intravenous line (IV) is given to provide fluids. You are shifted to OT for the procedure. You are given anesthesia before surgery. Post-procedure, you will be moved to Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and once fully awake, you will be moved to Intensive Care Unit for overnight observation.
You are shifted to a regular room. You may have pain, fever and may not feel like eating anything, which is ok for post-surgical day 2 to say 4. You are monitored in the room and shall be given appropriate medication including pain relievers. You may have Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump. You would have a drain in your back (Hemovac) and a catheter to help you pee.
IBS rehabilitation team and nursing shall help you to sit and stand. You could also have a sip of water or other liquids/hospital food.
You would be slowly mobilized by rehabilitation team. You will also undergo mild physiotherapy. Your pain should have decreased by now. Your catheter would be removed and you would be encouraged to use the regular washroom.
Your medications would be changed and most likely, you would be shifted on oral medication. Rehabilitation team shall continue to mobilize you and you would also be provided physiotherapy.
You would be monitored for progress by rehabilitation team and would continue to get physiotherapy done.
Your incision would be inspected and if the wound has healed, stitches or staples shall be removed. You shall continue to have the bandage for another day.
Discharge process is undertaken. You will be explained about the discharge medication, exercises to be done at home and follow up. You will be discharged in stable condition.
The first follow up will be after 3 weeks of the surgery followed by six weeks and six-month checkups. Anytime thereafter you could have a follow up if there are any questions /concerns about the recovery.
During this time you would need to slowly start getting back to normal routine, however, it may be difficult for you to join office/school immediately. You will be asked to refrain from smoking.
You can return to rigorous activities after 4-6 months of the surgery.