Pioneering minimally invasive Scoliosis treatment

A surgeon at new York’s Montefiore Medical Center (sic) is receiving press coverage for his “breakthrough” spinal procedure to easily pass contoured rods, place pedicle screws without image guidance, and allow adequate facet osteotomy to enable fusion in young patients with scoliosis. In a New York Daily News article, published on September 6th, which can be seen here, a 16 year old patient extols the virtues of the technique which has apparently corrected her 58degree deformity to the extent that she’s now considering a modelling career. The spinal specialist and lead author of a recent publication on the technique in the journal Scoliosis(August 2011), Vishal Sarwahi MD is quoted in the press article, saying; “Unlike standard spinal surgery that often results in large scars and potentially long-term tissue damage, the new procedure for adolescents only requires three small incisions to the back. The less invasive procedure spares young patients the excessive blood loss, pain, scarring and recovery time of standard open surgery, which can mean the world to kids.”
Notably, while the newspaper article is likely to result in a queue of adolescents at Montefiore (this being a relatively common condition afflicting “nearly 60,000 school age children a year” in USA), the medic and the journal article both point out that it is a new technique, thus far performed on a handful of patients. There exists a clear need for further research and collection of long term data before the multiple perceived benefits of this minimally invasive technique become the norm.
Source: Medlatest staff

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