Early Spinal Fusion Surgery

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Evolution of Early Spinal Fusion Surgery

The earliest form of surgery for scoliosis in children and adolescents involved surgical correction of the deformity with fusion at that time. The idea was that a shorter, straight spine was better than a longer, curved spine. However, studies of the lung function in these patients showed that pulmonary function tests were very often abnormal when the spine was fused at an early age. The reduction in lung function is due to the smaller size of the rib cage and the resulting compression of the lungs. Children with severe spine curves, often in the company of other medical conditions, may still be treated with this technique, but, when feasible, surgeons try to allow as much growth as possible.

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