More than 20-30 million people are known to be affected with scoliosis across the world. It is recognized as a curved spine condition, or a condition where the vertebral column bends resulting into a C-shape hunch formation. Scoliosis is mostly reported among children before adolescence or have just hit puberty. However, it may affect any individual from 7 years to 40 years of age. In primary stages, the condition can be improved with the help of physiotherapist, back braces, and invasive treatments, however, surgical procedures may also be implemented in extreme cases. In general, scoliosis surgery cost begins approximately from $11,000 to $55,000 and may exceed depending on a number of factors. 

What is Scoliosis Surgery?

In case of more than 45° or 50° of spinal curvature, scoliosis surgery is implemented. The surgical procedure is performed in order to realign the bent spine into a normal or straight spine. The procedure involves fusion of the curved spines which are thereafter pushed or realigned to form a straighter backbone. This is furnished with the help of specialized tools which are inserted via multiple minute incisions made throughout the backbone.

Ideal Candidates for Scoliosis Surgery 

Scoliosis surgeries are being performed in millions every year across the world. Where the procedure is mostly performed in children, modern advancements have made it possible for aged individuals as well. The ideal candidates for scoliosis surgery are children/individual who:

  • Have more than 40° to 45° of curvature
  • Are unresponsive towards conservative treatments, exercises, and physiotherapies
  • Do not show improvement even after implementation of braces

Factors affecting the cost of Scoliosis Surgery

The average scoliosis surgery cost highly depends on the country where it is performed. Apart from that, the other factors affecting the cost are:

  • Degree of curvature
  • Extent of surgery required
  • Complexity of the condition
  • Possible risks to nerves attached (if any)
  • Type of healthcare benefits availed.
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Scoliosis is a medical condition, characterized by an abnormal curve of the spine. There are different types of scoliosis, depending on the exact location of the abnormal curve and the age of the patient. The abnormal curvature of the spin is the most common symptom of scoliosis.

The spinal curve looks straight when looking from the front. The normal curved of the spine visualized from the sides are known as kyphosis and lordosis. People with scoliosis develop an additional curve in their spine to five it a C-shaped or an S-shaped appearance.

Scoliosis can affect adults as well as children. However, it is most common in patients aged above 10. Additionally, this condition is more common in girls than boys. A sideways curvature of the lumbar vertebrae is also known as lumbar scoliosis.

The most common test used to diagnosed scoliosis is Adam’s Forward Bend Test. During this test, the doctor asks the suspected patient to bend at the waist with palms touching the floor and knees straight. In this position, any abnormality in the curvature of the spine is clearly visible.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

There are no specific symptoms of scoliosis. The appearance of the abnormal curvature of the spine is most often the first sign of scoliosis. The diagnosis of this condition most commonly takes place during an examination at school and college.

In severe cases of scoliosis, breathing difficulty, chest pain, and shortness of breath may appear. Scoliosis is not usually painful. But it can cause neck pain, back pain, abdominal pain, rib pain, and muscle spasms.

There are three approaches or types of scoliosis surgery. Out of these, spinal fusion is the most common procedure.

  • Rod placement: In this approach, rods of specific length are placed in the back of the child with scoliosis. These rods are anchored to the spine, which helps maintain the spine curvature as the child grows. However, a surgery is required every six months to one year to correct the length of the rods as per the increased length of the spine. Once the child has reached a stage where the spine is matured, spinal fusion can be conducted. Fusing the vertebrae as an age where the body development is still taking place may lead to a disproportionate body and less room for specific organs such as lungs.
  • Fusionless surgery: In this approach, a constant pressure is built on the outer side of the spinal curve to stop or delay its development. As a result, the growth is restricted in the abnormally curved part of the spine, while the inner part continues to grow normally. Over a period of time, the spine achieves the normal curvature. This approach has several potential benefits over spinal fusion and may lead to greater stability but it is a newer approach with limited clinical data backing its use.
  • Spinal fusion: This is the most common approach used to treat scoliosis. During this procedure, two or more adjacent vertebrae are fused to form a single bone that is no longer flexible. This procedure is highly effective and safe and this is the reason why surgeons recommend patients to undergo this surgery for long-term relief.

The patient is expected to move around in two or three days after the surgery. But total stay in the hospital can range from four to seven days. Children can resume going to school after two to four weeks of the surgery.

Physical activity has to be highly limited to keep the spine immobile allowing better fusion. Bending twisting, or lifting will be restricted for the first three months. Surgeons recommend wearing braces for a few months during the scoliosis surgery recovery.

Patients will be occasionally monitored with intermittent X rays even after one to two years until the bone fuses completely and becomes solid. Female patients can undergo normal delivery after undergoing the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Singapore is generally known for its well-managed health care infrastructure and has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems in the year 2000. Bloomberg ranked Singapore's healthcare system the most efficient in the world in 2014. Three main healthcare groups exist in Singapore:
  • National Healthcare Group
  • National University Health System
  • SingHealth
The 10 public hospitals in Singapore comprise 8 general hospitals (AH, SGH, NUH, CGH, TTSH, KTPH, NTFGH & SKH), and 2 specialized hospitals (KKH & IMH). In addition, there are 9 national specialty centres for cancer (NCCS & NCIS), cardiac (NHCS & NUHCS), eye (SNEC), skin (NSC), neuroscience (NNI) and dental care (NDCS & NUCOHS). The private healthcare infrastructure in Singapore is also well established. The payment methods include private payment gateways or private insurance companies. You can expect better technology to be used in private hospitals in Singapore. Various procedures like stem cell therapy and cancer research are conducted in Singapore.
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are some of the JCI certified hospitals in Singapore :
  • Mount Elizabeth Hospital
  • Singapore National Eye Centre
  • National Dental Centre
  • Raffles Hospital
  • National University Hospital
  • Gleneagles Hospital
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • National Heart Centre Singapore
  • Changi General Hospital
  • National Cancer Centre
  • National Skin Centre
  • Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Since Singapore is known all over the world for some of the best medical treatments all across the globe, you can surely expect the best quality of doctors and surgeons here. This country has a very high quality of life and hence the health of people is of high priority.
People who wish to go to Singapore as a tourist for social purposes or seeking medical treatment, and require a longer period of stay beyond the Visit Pass granted on entry into Singapore, may submit an application for extension of stay (not more than 89 days from date of entry) online using the e-Service of ICA. All extension applications must be submitted online using the e-service at least seven days prior to the expiry of the visit pass to avoid overstaying. Extension of visit will not be accepted over the counter. Every visit pass issued to any person as a tourist or for the purpose of a social visit or medical treatment shall be subjected to the condition that the holder shall not engage in any form of employment (paid or unpaid) or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of that pass unless he is a holder of a valid work pass issued under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Do visit the ICA website for further information.
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