Posterior Spinal Fusion
Posterior Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Children’s National has a team of highly-specialized experts that work together to correct idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents using posterior spinal fusion surgery.Children with idiopathic scoliosis have an abnormal curve in their spine and may show the following signs:
- Shoulders are uneven
- Head is not centered with the rest of the body
- Hips are uneven
- Shoulder blade heights are uneven or in different positions
- One shoulder blade is more prominent than the other
Posterior spinal fusion is the surgical process of straightening the spine and preventing the curve from getting worse. Metal implants are used to hold the spine in a straighter position until the bones fuse together.
Spinal Fusion Surgical Home: Increasing Quality of Care
The team at Children’s National has designed an innovative surgical home to improve the spinal fusion process and reduce recovery time for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. The Spinal Fusion Surgical Home, the first of its kind for pediatric patients, streamlines care from before surgery through recovery, including standard processes for infection control, pain management, and physical therapy.
The surgical home includes:
- Patient education resources, including web information, a patient guidebook, and videos about recovery
- Single points of contact for scheduling procedures and laboratory exams preoperatively
- An education class for patients and families before the surgery featuring presentations from the care team
- A post-discharge follow-up call from a nurse to inquire about patients’ pain control and wound healing
Implementing the Spinal Fusion Surgical Home has resulted in many improvements for patients. These include:
- Shorter hospital stays after surgery
- Decreased infection rate to nearly zero
- Less use of opioid pain medications
Posterior Spinal Fusion Team
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