Spine Osteotomy – When is it Recommended?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 2, 2014

osteotomyWe have talked about a lot of spine surgeries on this blog, but there are a lot of different procedures that can be used to treat the spine. One we have not yet discussed in depth is the spinal osteotomy. In this article we are going to talk about the spinal osteotomy procedure, its risks and benefits, and when it can be a useful treatment option.

What is a Spinal Osteotomy?

A spine osteotomy is a procedure used to treat a deformity of the spine. The procedure involves cutting a piece of spinal bone in order to correct spinal alignment. There are three main types of spinal osteotomy procedures:

  1. Smith-Petersen Osteotomy. This procedure is used to treat patients with a minor deformity. A small piece of bone is excised to allow the spine to lean back – thus correcting the deformity.
  2. Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy. This procedure is for patients with moderate spinal deformity – typically in the low back region.
  3. Vertebral Column Resection Osteotomy. In this procedure the vertebra(e) are completely removed to allow a maximum correction of the spine. This surgery also requires spinal fusion to stabilize the spine.

Each specific procedure has its own risks and benefits. The recommended procedure will depend on the patient’s individual circumstances.

When is Osteotomy Recommended?

An osteotomy procedure can be recommended for patients with spinal deformities after non-surgical methods have been attempted without success. Patients who suffer from scoliosis, kyphosis, ankylosing spondylitis, or flat back syndrome, can all be candidates for a spinal osteotomy. When a spinal deformity worsens over time it can threaten the spinal nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness. When nerves are impacted like this, surgery is often the best option to free up the nerves, reduce pain, and prevent loss of sensation.

If you suffer from one of these conditions talk with spine surgeon to see if an osteotomy reconstruction can help you.


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