Spinal Realignment

PROCEDURES EXPLAINEDSpinal Realignment

Spinal realignment surgery is performed when the gravity line of the vertebral column must be restored to normal or near-normal. This is to relieve stress on the muscles of posture in the back, hips, and knees. Usually this requires one or more osteotomies, a procedure in which a cut is made into the bone to correct alignment. Several forms of osteotomy exist, such as pedicle subtraction or Smith-Peterson. In addition, discectomy may be performed, as well as spinal fusion. Most patients achieve satisfactory results from their surgeries, but patients with past surgeries are at a higher risk of less optimal outcomes.

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What to Expect

  • YYou will have an IV placed in your arm or hand for the delivery of anesthetic to put you into a deep sleep and prevent pain during your surgery.
  • Your surgical team will usually consist of a vascular surgeon as well as an orthopedic or neurosurgeon. You may be lying on your front, side, or back, depending on the requirements of your surgical plan.
  • Your surgeon will perform the procedures discussed for your condition.
  • You will then be taken to a recovery area for close monitoring until you awaken. You will still have your IV, and may have a catheter to help facilitate urination while you recover. You may also have a sore throat from intubation. When you are fully alert and awake, you will then be returned to your hospital room.

Experiencing Symptoms of Spinal Realignment?

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Common Risks and/or Frequently Asked Questions

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Bleeding

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Blood clots

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Nerve damage

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Return of symptoms

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Infection

Post Procedural Instructions

  • Activity Restriction
  • Pain Management
  • Incision Care
  • Call if
  • Desk jobs may be returned to in about 2 weeks, but others may require 4 weeks or more
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking narcotics
  • Do not try to lift more than 10 pounds
  • Do not smoke
  • Walk as often as is comfortable on non-slippery surfaces
  • Be mindful of body motion practices, as discussed with your physical therapist
  • Post-procedural pain may last days to weeks as the inflammation subsides
  • Do NOT take NSAIDs in the first few months following surgery, as they can interfere with the bone healing process
  • Take your prescribed pain medication as recommended, and inform your care team if relief is inadequate. It is normal to feel some degree of pain during the recovery process, but it should not be excruciating.
  • Unless otherwise stated, your incisions are most likely sutured from the inside.
  • Dressings may be removed about 48 hours after surgery, and incisions should be washed with soap and water
  • Do NOT soak the incision site, baths, hot tubs, and pools should be avoided for 2-3 weeks until the wounds have fully healed
  • Sunblock with SPF 30 or greater may be used to protect healing skin from discoloration, as new skin will lack the sun protectant pigment melanin
  • Fever of 101.5 F or greater
  • Redness, swelling, warmth around the incision site
  • New neurological symptoms, such as weakness or loss of sensation that was not present before
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control that is new
  • Severe Pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • Severe Headaches
  • Calf Swelling, as this may be a sign of thrombosis
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, or cough
X-Ray
An effective and inexpensive option for quickly visualizing skeletal structures and isolating potential problem areas.
MRI
This is the treatment modality of choice for visualizing the soft tissues of the back such as ligaments and the intervertebral discs. Similar to CT, MRI imaging may also be enhanced with contrast.
CT Scan
In Computed Tomography, x-rays are taken rotationally and a computer generates a three-dimensional rendering from the two-dimensional slices. This can be enhanced with contrast, called a myelogram, to further visualize the spinal cord and nerves, as well as possible tumors.

Common
Recovery Timeline

Recovery timelines vary greatly according to the location and extent of surgery, but most can expect to be discharged from the hospital within a few days. Follow-up visits at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 6 months will typically be made to evaluate the progress of healing. Most patients are able to resume all activities by the 6 month mark.

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Important Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Dr. Ashish Patel makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this website with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Dr. Ashish Patel does not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site.

DR. ASHISH PATEL IS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Individuals’ outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics and/or surgeon experience.

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