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Reconstructive Spine Surgery

What is reconstructive spine surgery?

Spinal reconstruction surgery involves more than one level of the spine. It's used to correct deformities and stabilize the spine. In some cases, the diseased portion of the spine is replaced with artificial devices.

When is reconstructive spine surgery performed?

Patients with a spine deformity or significant misalignment may benefit from reconstructive spine surgery. The most common conditions treated with this type of surgery include scoliosis, spondylolisthesis (displaced disc) or kyphosis (curvature of the upper back).

The surgeons at Rex Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists can help you decide on the treatment that's best for you. They specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery and are experienced in diagnosing and treating disc disorders and disease, using the newest techniques for relieving pain and returning you to an active lifestyle. To make an appointment at Rex Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists, call 919-784-1410.

What to expect

Before surgery, quitting smoking and improving your fitness level through regular exercise will help you recover more quickly. Most reconstructive surgeries will involve devices such as metal screws, plates or rods to help straighten the spine and keep the vertebrae stable during healing.

The surgery will be performed while you're asleep (under general anesthesia) and will likely require a hospital stay of four to six days; the length of stay will depend on the complexity of the surgery, the areas of the spine affected and how well you heal. After surgery, your physician will prescribe pain medication, and you may receive nutrients through your IV. You'll be taught techniques for getting out of bed, sitting, standing and walking to avoid twisting your spine, and your physician may recommend inpatient rehabilitation after surgery. You may wear a brace or cast when you return home.

You can expect your quality of life to improve as you recover in the weeks and months after surgery; however, because of the complexity of surgery, it will take several months to fully heal. Your physician can help set realistic expectations for returning to normal activities.