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New Surgery Offers Hope for Cerebral Palsy Patients with Scoliosis

cerebral palsy scoliosisMillions of individuals in the U.S. suffer from scoliosis, which can be caused by cerebral palsy, among other causes. Normally, the spine curves slightly. However, if viewed from the front or back, it will appear straight. In an individual with scoliosis, the spine curves abnormally so that when viewed from the back or front, it does not appear straight. Many people with mild degrees of curvature do not require treatment.

However, in severe cases of scoliosis, surgery is required. The traditional surgical approach is to fuse vertebrae and place metallic implants in an attempt to correct some of the abnormal curvature and prevent it from getting worse. Now, scoliosis patients have a new option: Robot technology that can improve results and limit complications.

Innovative robotic surgery for scoliosis

This new technology is the Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System. With traditional open surgery, surgeons make one very large incision. This gives the easy access to bodily structures and a clear field of view. However, it also leads to a longer recovery time for the patient, which is why laparoscopic surgeries have become so popular. This approach involves several small incisions, which, although it limits complications, also limits the surgeon’s field of view. With the Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System, patients can have the best of both worlds. It allows for minimally invasive surgery with the superior imaging of open surgery.

The system involves advanced 3-D planning software, which allows the surgeon to customize the spine surgery to the unique needs of the scoliosis patient. In the operating room, the robot technology guides the surgeon to the precise site where therapeutic intervention is needed. However, the surgeon remains in full control of the robot technology at all times.

Mazor Robotics states that their innovative guidance system offers numerous benefits for scoliosis patients and others who are undergoing complex spine surgery. It is said to reduce postoperative pain, lower rates of complications such as infections, and facilitate an accelerated recovery. What’s more, patients with scoliosis caused by cerebral palsy who have undergone this type of surgery can typically enjoy a significant correction of their abnormal spine curvature, allowing them to move more freely, participate in physical activities, and even wear clothes properly without being limited by a severe tilt to the side.

Causes of cerebral palsy

Scoliosis is just one of the many complications that cerebral palsy can cause. Cerebral palsy can also lead to malnutrition, mental health conditions, lung disease, contracture, and many other health problems. Sometimes, cerebral palsy isn’t necessarily preventable, such as when it’s caused by a fetal stroke or random genetic mutations. However, in other cases, this devastating diagnosis is entirely preventable.

Many children afflicted with cerebral palsy developed the condition because of birth injuries. Sometimes during labor and delivery, the fetus suffers from oxygen deprivation to the brain, which causes brain damage and, in turn, cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy may sometimes be the result of medical malpractice. For example, a doctor or nurse may fail to properly monitor the fetal heart rate or to respond to an abnormal fetal heart rate.

They may delay performing a C-section that would have restored oxygen to the baby’s brain. Or, they may improperly use instruments such as vacuum and forceps. Because of these preventable medical errors, a child may suffer from lifelong complications. When the causes of cerebral palsy can be traced back to negligent medical care, victims may have the right to legal compensation.