Vertebral Column Resection For Severe Spinal Deformity

A vertebral column resection is a procedure reserved for the most severe spinal deformities. These include sharp angular curvatures including rigid scoliosis and kyphosis.

Vertebral column resection involves removing segments of the spine including the body of the vertebra and the posterior elements, which include the lamina, transverse process, and ribs (for procedures in the thoracic spine). This can be done all from a posterior (back) or combined anterior (front), and posterior approach. Dr. Lonner tends to perform this procedure all from the back. There is some increased risk to this operation compared to other scoliosis and kyphosis operations in that the spine is completely disarticulated. Dr. Lonner increases the safety associated with the procedure by preserving ligaments in the front of the spine and by providing temporary stabilization with rods and screws during the performance of the procedure. Several examples of the operation are illustrated below.

Patient Story 1

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This is a 33-year-old woman from the former Soviet Union with progressive scoliosis of 73 degrees, with severe back pain. She underwent vertebral column resection correcting her curvature to 24 degrees. Her pain was much improved after her surgery and she was able to carry on without limitations of her activities.

Patient Story 2

vertebralcase2

This is a 60 years old woman from Venezuela with a long history of back problems. She developed fractures of several vertebrae in her thoracic spine, which was treated by a neurosurgeon who performed a laminectomy. She developed severe progressive kyphosis reaching 112 degrees. The patient underwent vertebral column resection correcting her curvature to 53 degrees and restoring her function.

There are only a handful of surgeons around the world who can safely perform this operation and Dr. Lonner is one of those surgeons. In many cases, near complete correction of very severe deformity can be achieved. This operation is only reserved for the most severe cases.

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Patient Story 3

X-rays before and after surgery

X-rays before and after surgery

Pre & Post Op ScoliScan

Pre & Post Op ScoliScan

Dunci is a 13 years old girl who comes from the Persian Gulf. She was referred to Dr. Lonner for evaluation of severe scoliosis, which was painful and progressive in severity. Dr. Lonner performed combined VATs (minimally invasive) and posterior spinal fusion with VCR. Dunci is doing very-very well after surgery. She also gained 2.5 inches in height with surgical correction. Dunci is looking forward to a full life ahead and to pursue her interests.

Patient Story 4

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Pre-Operation

Pre-Operation

Post-Operation

Post-Operation

This 15-year old girl had severe progressive scoliosis associated with autism. Dr. Lonner performed posterior spinal fusion with VCR given the severity of her curvature. The corrective surgery provided an over 80% correction. She gained 2¼ inches in height and is doing very well after surgery.