Spinal Fusion for Scoliosis
Risks of surgery include neurological complications, infection, and lung problems.
Surgery in an adult carries a higher rate of complications and risks than in a child or teen, including blood clots, Reference pseudoarthrosis Opens New Window, infection, and neurological complications.
Other risks of surgery
Early complications of surgery include the following:
- Ileus (lazy bowel) is a common complication after spinal fusion. To treat this complication, the person is not allowed to have any food and drink by mouth until normal bowel function returns, usually within 36 to 72 hours after surgery.
- Collapse of a small portion of the lung is a common cause of fever after surgery. Frequent turning of the person and deep breathing and coughing help prevent this.
- Deep wound infections are rare but may require another surgery.
Late complications after surgery include the following:
- The most common late complications of spinal fusion are Reference pseudoarthrosis Opens New Window and back pain.
- A rod or instrument that breaks usually indicates a pseudoarthrosis. But if there is no pain and the curve seems stable, a broken rod does not need to be removed.
- Loss of lumbar lordosis (flat-back syndrome) is characterized by upper back pain, lower neck pain, inability to stand up straight, increasing upper back fatigue with prolonged upright posture, and front thigh and knee pain.
- Although neurological complications are rare, they can occur. To reduce the risk, most centers use intraoperative electronic monitoring of spinal cord functioning.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: July 21, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics