Physician Outlines Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure for ChildrenWith Scoliosis

A recently published article has outlined a minimally invasive technique
for adolescent idiopathic
scoliosis. The procedure was detailed in an article published
in Scoliosis.

“Minimally invasive techniques have been utilized for multilevel
pathology, including adult lumbar degenerative scoliosis,” study author
Vishal Sarwahi, MD, wrote. “The next logical step is to apply minimally
invasive surgical techniques to the treatment of adolescent idiopathic

According to a Montefiore Medical Center press release, Sarwahi has
performed seven of the procedures and followed the patients for 2 years.
Reportedly, the best candidates are adolescent patients with a routine spinal
curvature of 40· to 70·.

The procedure, according to the study, uses three small midline skin
incisions to facilitate passage of contoured rods and pedicle screw placement
free of image guidance. The technique also “allows adequate facet
osteotomy to enable fusion.”

The minimally invasive technique takes longer than open surgery, Sarwahi
stated in the release, but he added he believes the time in the operating room
will be reduced as the procedure is performed in greater numbers.

“This new procedure to correct curvature of the spine involves
three small incisions in the back, as opposed to standard open surgery, which
requires a 2-foot incision in the back,” Sarwahi stated. “While there
are significant technical challenges in the new procedure, it has proved as
effective as open surgery and involves less blood loss during surgery, shorter
hospital stays, relatively less pain and pain medication and helps patients
become mobile sooner.”

Still, Sarwahi noted, it is important to remain cautious while the
procedure and its results are further tested.

“Although there are multiple perceived benefits, long-term data is
needed before it can be recommended for routine use,” he wrote in the

For more information:

  • Sarwahi V, Wollowick AL, Sugarman EP, et al. Minimally invasive
    scoliosis surgery: An innovative technique in patients with adolescent
    idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis. 2011. doi:10.1186/1748-7161-6-16

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