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Research Corner

Scoliosis Gets Minimally Invasive Treatment

Surgeons at Cedars-Sinai's Institute for Spinal Disorders have combined three minimally invasive spine surgeries to treat spinal curvature in adults.

An article in October's issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques is believed to be the first to document the use of these three innovative procedures in combination to correct adult lumbar degenerative scoliosis, which is a common consequence of aging.

The article reviews 12 patients of orthopaedic surgeon Neel Anand, M.D., director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. The patients' scoliosis resulted from the degeneration of multiple discs, ranching from two to eight segments of the spine.

In the first stage of multiple procedures, Dr. Anand removed damaged disc material and replaced it with spacers inserted through small incisions in the patient's side.

"We previously accessed the front of the spine through the abdomen," he said. "By going in from the side, we no longer work around the organs and large blood vessels of the abdomen."

For patients' whose scoliosis was in the sacral and lower lumbar spine, Dr. Anand next secured the joint with a screw.

The final stage of the procedure, performed two to three days after the first, was the placement of rods on either side of the spine using percutaneous screws.

Dr. Anand is a paid consultant with the three companies that market the instrumentation and techniques described in the article of which he was first author. He receives royalties from the manufacturer when the devices are used at hospitals other than Cedars-Sinai.