Pediatric Spine Surgery

Bakersfield Pediatric Spine Surgery

Pediatric spine surgery is used to treat children and adolescents with congenital or developmental abnormalities of the neck and back, such as scoliosis. It can also be used to repair damage caused by traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in a car accident. It is important to treat severe spine conditions in children, as certain types of injuries or abnormalities can cause compression of the nerves, brainstem and spinal cord. Not only can this be a painful condition, but it can also lead to serious complications in some children, such as muscle weakness, deformity and abnormal brain development.

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Did you know…

that scoliosis is the cause of most pediatric spine surgeries in the U.S. and here in Bakersfield? Approximately 2 percent of children will develop scoliosis. Of those, just 1 in 3 will develop a scoliotic curve severe enough to warrant treatment, and even fewer will require pediatric spine surgery to treat the condition. Surgery is typically reserved for scoliotic curves that exceed 45 – 50 degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate for pediatric spine surgery in Bakersfield?

For children who have suffered a traumatic injury, spine surgery is used to repair fractured or dislocated vertebrae. In children with scoliosis or congenital abnormalities, the purpose of spine surgery is either to correct the spinal curve or prevent it from worsening. Early diagnosis and intervention for scoliosis can help a child avoid developing a stiff, rigid and deformed spine as an adult. Similarly, early intervention for other types of spinal abnormalities may help prevent developmental and neurological problems.

What happens during a pediatric spine surgery?

Bakersfield pediatric spine surgery is performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. The type of surgery will depend on the condition being treated. Spinal fusion is most commonly used in children to treat conditions like scoliosis and traumatic injuries. During the procedure, bone is grafted into the spine, where it will fuse with the surrounding vertebrae. It is held in place by a series of rods, pins and plates.

How long will it take for my child to recover from surgery?

The recovery process will vary from patient to patient. A pediatric patient must remain in the hospital for observation following the surgery – usually no more than a week. The healing process will continue at home, during which time activity will be restricted. Physical therapy may also be necessary to rehabilitate the spine and help with the recovery process. Most children can return to school within a month, and they may return to physical and sports activities within 6 to 9 months.