Correction of deformity may be required for cosmetic or functional reasons and sometimes if nerves or spinal cord function are threatened. Due to the scale of surgery, time in hospital is a week or more and for older people, rehabilitation will be needed.
Deformity surgery is complex and generally takes many hours, especially in adults when the spine can be quite stiff. The basis of these procedures is mobilisation of the spine by removal of facet joints and opening up of collapsed intervertebral discs. Any areas where nerves may be compressed are released. Finally, correction of the deformity and stabilisation of the spine is achieved with bone screws and rods. This sounds straightforward, but many techniques are used, such as interbody fusion, and in a few cases bone wedges are taken (osteotomies) that permit restoration of proper spinal posture.
During this kind of surgery, a variety of technologies are used as needed, such as computer aided surgery, monitoring of spinal cord function and salvage of blood to be re-infused.