By Christopher Good, MD, FACS

Treatment of spinal conditions dates back to ancient times. There has been a long history of treatment of scoliosis and other spinal deformities using both non-operative and operative techniques. One of the most common techniques used by spine surgeons to correct spinal problems is spine fusion. The purpose of a spinal fusion is to create a rigid union between two separate segments of the spine to correct malalignment or instability. Many different types of spinal instrumentation have been developed to help facilitate spine fusion, including devices such as rods, plates, hooks, wires, and screws.

Treatment of spinal deformity has improved due the development of enhanced spine imaging, advanced surgical techniques, and improved spinal instrumentation. These advances allow surgeons to help their patients maximize their quality of life while striving to minimize the potential for complications. Advances in the past few decades have improved correction of spinal deformity and decreased the morbidity of surgical procedures, while allowing for earlier return to activity after surgery. Current research focuses on improving and developing motion preserving surgical techniques and safer,less invasive surgical options.

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