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Spinal Deformity

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Surgery for Spinal Deformities

The Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Program at the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care includes expert spine surgeons along with their team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and pain-management specialists who provide comprehensive, integrated care for patients with spinal deformities. Patients receive a complete continuum of care from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.

We generally begin with nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment options. Nonsurgical treatments include pain medications, physical therapy (including gait and posture training), and certain braces. Our experienced surgeons can determine the best treatment for each patient and each situation. Surgery may be recommended when conservative treatments did not work, or when the spinal deformity is progressing or has caused serious complications.

The goals of surgery are to relieve symptoms and to align and stabilize the spine. However, since spinal deformities vary from patient to patient, no two surgical treatments will be the same.  Many individuals who need surgery are good candidates for minimally invasive surgical techniques, using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients recover faster, have less pain, and get back to their normal daily activities sooner than they could with older surgical methods.

Surgical techniques for scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis have come a long way recently with the development of these minimal access, minimally invasive techniques. Although traditional open surgery may sometimes be necessary, the Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Program offers a range of newer, minimally invasive options.

A surgical team may approach the spine from the front, back, or a combination of both. The choice of technique and approach depends upon the age of the individual and how mature the skeleton is, the flexibility of the spine, the location and degree of the curve, and whether there is any nerve-root compression.