Navigation Links
New Surgical Approach Shows Promise in Treatment of Scoliosis
Date:12/1/2008

Experimental minimally invasive spinal surgery at University of Michigan is helping many people with severe scoliosis

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since the time Tricia Ann Vinson was first diagnosed with scoliosis in sixth grade, the condition had become increasingly painful and debilitating.

Vinson -- now 23 -- started with pain in her right shoulder blade, then pain in her lower back, and then constant back pain that began when she was pregnant. The pain continued after her son was born, forcing her to limit how much time she played with him and picked him up.

She decided to try an experimental surgery at the University of Michigan Health System, in which the curvature of the spine is corrected with a minimally invasive procedure. Initially, she was still in pain and had limited mobility after the surgery. But now, six months later, Vinson is a success story.

The surgery "has made a huge difference in my life," Vinson says. "Now I'm able to lift my son up to take him outside, to run around after him and not have the pain. It's helped me in so many ways, both physically and mentally."

While minimal access spinal surgery for scoliosis is still experimental and offered in a small number of medical centers, it eventually could revolutionize the way in which severe scoliosis is treated, says Frank La Marca, M.D. (http://www2.med.umich.edu/healthcenters/provider_profile.cfm?individual_id=107686&hc_id=&building_name=&city=&clin_d), director of the Section of Spine Surgery in the U-M Department of Neurosurgery (http://www.med.umich.edu/neurosurgery/). He notes that the procedure holds many advantages over the traditional surgery for scoliosis, a major operation that causes significant muscle damage, long scars and blood loss.

"Only time will tell how well patients do, but so far our patients have been able to return to work much quicker, their post-operative course has been shorter and their post-operative pain has been less," he notes. "My hope is that this actually becomes the standard of care on a national scale in the future."

La Marca notes that very few people have scoliosis that is severe enough to require surgery, which typically involves a curvature of 45 degrees or more. Vinson's curvature, for instance, was about 50 degrees before her surgery. In adults, about one in every 10 above the age of 40 will have some degree of scoliosis, he says. Of those, one of every 10 may have severe enough cases that surgery is an option. And in children, about one in every 333 will have scoliosis, with three to five of every thousand requiring surgery.

Until recently, the only surgical options were spinal fusion, in which the curved part of the backbone is straightened with rods or screws, and small pieces of bone are put over the spine so that they can grow and fuse together; and instrumentation without fusion, which is sometimes performed in small children, in which metal rods are attached to the spine without fusing the vertebrae together.

While many patients have had success with such procedures, the negative effects can be great, La Marca says. Stripping the muscles off the spine to allow for the placement of screws and rods can weaken the back and lead to chronic back pain. The scars are long, and the blood loss can be significant, he notes.

The minimally invasive approach requires very small incisions in the skin and no stripping of the muscles; instead, surgeons maneuver their instruments between the muscle fibers.

This approach is made possible because of the advancing technology used in neuro-navigational techniques. At U-M, the surgeons use a technique for navigating the screws through a patient's spinal muscles that is similar to the system used when NASA navigates a robotic arm in space, La Marca says.

New biological materials, such as synthetic proteins, are used to enhance the fusion of the spine. Additionally, La Marca, his neurosurgery colleagues and researchers at the U-M College of Engineering are designing new technologies -- such as special operating tables -- that could help to correct spinal deformities even before the instrumentation of the surgery begins.

For more information, visit these Web sites:

U-M Spine Surgery Program: www2.med.umich.edu/healthcenters/clinic_detail.cfm?service_id=1133&um_unit_id=

What is scoliosis? www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/aha_scolio_hhg.htm

Should I (or my child) have surgery for scoliosis? health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW_Knowledgebase&AEArticleID=aa115911&AEArticleType=DecisionPoint

National Scoliosis Foundation: www.scoliosis.org/

Scoliosis Research Society: www.srs.org/


'/>"/>
SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Ochsner Health System, Surgical Information Systems Partner to Rebuild New Orleans Healthcare Infrastructure
2. Cardiosolutions Names Dr. Lars Svensson Chief Surgical Officer
3. STAAR Surgical Forms Team of Leading Ophthalmic Surgeons to Study the Use of Collamer(R) Material for Accommodating Intraocular Lenses
4. Surgical study highlights pros and cons of gastric bypass surgery for severe obesity
5. Surgical Care Affiliates Announces Investor Conference Call to Discuss Third Quarter 2008 Results
6. Two Colorado Surgeons Become Pioneers In Microsurgical DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
7. Non-Surgical Clubfoot Treatments Bring High Level of Success
8. B. Braun Medical Inc. Launches Ambulatory Surgical Center Website
9. Pioneer(R) Surgical Technologys NuBac(R) Nucleus Replacement Device Wins FDA Approval for IDE Pivotal Study
10. Many Breast Cancer Patients Are Not Receiving Most Advanced Breast Conserving Surgical Techniques, New Study Finds
11. STAAR Surgical Reports 33% Third Quarter Revenue Growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, Hope For ... their lives in military battle for the country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes ... more programs that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well as police, firemen, ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia is a common complication following ... survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in the largest study of its ... Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that will hopefully lead to better ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... MadgeTech will be showcasing its line ... in Warner, New Hampshire at the MadgeTech headquarters. With products sold in more than ... by government agencies, including NASA. , In 2012, NASA strategically set up 17 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Dr. James ... Fighting Blindness, Long Island Chapter on June 4, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm at the ... founder of Retina Group of New York , is a Board Certified ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... In an effort to provide hair restoration ... to both Snapchat users and those who do not use the app. Dr. Mohebi, the ... new page, Dr. Mohebi Live . , Dr. Mohebi says, “The positive response ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 Amarantus BioScience ... on developing products for Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today ... be presenting at two upcoming investor conferences: SeeThru ... Third Avenue, New York City , NY ... Marcum MicroCap Conference   Where: Grand Hyatt ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016 According to a ... Management Market - U.S. Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, ... in the U.S. was valued at US$ 5.89 Bn in ... 3.4% from 2015 to 2023 to reach US$ 7.99 Bn ... current and emerging needle free drug delivery devices and the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... -- TARE (Transarterial Radio-embolization) Using Yttrium-90 ... Overall Decreased Use of Hospital Resource ... healthcare company, has today announced the publication of ... ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research), ... yttrium-90 glass microspheres is associated with cost savings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: