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Posterior Approach

The posterior approach is the most traditional type of surgery performed for the spinal condition Scoliosis. The posterior approach was designed to correct abnormal curves in the spine.

When you arrive in the operating room you will be given anaesthetic to help you fall asleep. When you are fully asleep the anesthesiologist will place a breathing tube to help you breathe during surgery. You will also be kitted out with catheters in your veins and sometimes one in your wrist (I had this), these will monitor your heart function, fluids, blood pressure, and your anesthesia during your operation. The anesthesiologist will constantly check you to be sure that you stay fully asleep. When they are happy with all these functions they will place you on your stomach and pad your arms and legs.

The surgeon will make an incision down the middle of your back, the length and location of that incision relies totally on the curve. Your incision will be slightly longer than your actual fusion.

Your fusion could involve a series of hooks, pedicle screws, wires, or other devices, to correct your scoliosis the surgeon needs to be able to grab onto the spine, this is the reason why a selection of instruments could be used for your surgery. Hooks are used to attach to the back of the spine on the lamina and pedicle screws are placed in the middle of the spine. When those connection points are found, your rod will be placed (already being bent to suit your spine) and your correction is then complete.

Your surgeon will give your fusion a final tightening to ensure all implants are secure before stitching you up.

Your incision is closed and dressed. A plaster will be placed over the scar and checked regularly. You will awake on your back.