More than 20-30 million people are known to be affected by scoliosis across the world. It is recognized as a curved spine condition, or a condition where the vertebral column bends resulting in a C-shape hunch formation. Scoliosis is mostly reported among children before adolescence or has just hit puberty. However, it may affect any individual from 7 years to 40 years of age. In the 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 in Spain begins approximately from $11,000 to $55,000 and may exceed depending on a number of factors. 

What is Scoliosis Surgery?

In the 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 in Spain

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
  • The extent of surgery required
  • The 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

The cost of scoliosis surgery in Spain depends on various factors including the kind of hospital you are receiving the treatment from and the instruments that will be required. Modern medicine has advanced to use a lot of new-age equipment while being minimally invasive. On average, the cost of scoliosis surgery in Spain can range from 4000 USD to 16000 USD. This figure varies from patient to patient.

Scoliosis mainly arises due to the deviation of the spine or spinal vertebrae. It leads to various symptoms such as backache, headache, alteration in the posture, and gait. It is usually easier to correct during the growing stage of development. While females have a slightly higher tendency of facing problems due to scoliosis, it is easier to treat during the developmental stages, that is during the growing stages. The cost of surgery depends on the curvature of the spine, the kind of treatment and equipment that is going to be used for the surgery. The final cost can only be ascertained after a consultation with a doctor. 

Scoliosis surgery in Spain can be availed in the following hospitals -

  1. Hospital Quirónsalud Barcelona

  2. Barcelona Spine Centre

  3. Hospital Quirón Teknon in Barcelona

  4. Hospital General de Catalunya in Barcelona

  5. Hospital Quirónsalud Malaga in Malaga

  6. Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja in Torrevieja (Alicante)

  7. Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital

  8. Sant Joan de Déu-Barcelona Children’s Hospital

  9. Hospital Universitario HM Montepríncipe

While there are many experienced surgeons, you can rely on the following surgeons for scoliosis surgery in Spain -

  1. Dr. Carlos Ruiz-ocaña at Quirón Salud Madrid University Hospital

  2. Dr. Alfredo Ferrer Fernández at Hospital Universitario HM Montepríncipe

  3. Dr. Marcelino Caballero at Barcelona Spine Centre

  4. Dr. Pablo Clavel at Barcelona Spine Centre

While most scoliosis surgeries see a success rate of 75% to 90%, it usually depends on the curvature of the spine and the stage of development at which the surgery is being done. There are minimal risk complications post the surgery with minimal risk of 2% to 3%.

Spain has a uni payer healthcare system. This means that there is universal coverage for most of the expenses (excluding prescription drugs). One might have to wait for quite some time to avail of elective procedure treatment in Spain. Non-European travelers must have valid health insurance coverage to benefit from the hospitals in Spain. One can also avail of it on a residency visa. The private insurance system helps you to avail the benefits at monthly costs. The taxes in Spain are comparatively lower than those of other European countries. Hence, one can surely opt for this country for medical treatment.
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 a few JCI certified hospitals in Spain :
  • Vithas Xanit International Hospital
  • Grupo Hospitalario Quirónsalud
  • Centro Médico Quironsalud Teknon
  • Hospital General de Catalunya
  • Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO Barcelona)
  • Sanitas Hospitales
  • Guttmann Institute
  • Instituto Balear de Oftalmología (IBO)
The hospitals in Spain are based on “el sistema national de salud” which provides high-quality care and medical centres, that is, “centros de salud”. This system has public and private healthcare systems, often within the same level. Since many countries send ex-pats here, one can even find an English speaking doctor very easily. Most doctors are adequately skilled and can handle the cases.
One has to apply for a Schengen Visa to gain entry into Spain for a medical purpose. The required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa for Medical Treatment are as follows:
  1. Visa application form.
  2. Two photos.
  3. Valid travel document/passport.
  4. A copy of your passport's data page.
  5. Roundtrip flight reservation.
  6. Travel Medical Insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Spain has many cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Pamplona that have some of the best hospitals in Spain. Madrid has good hospitals for general and reproductive health facilities. Barcelona has hospitals specializing in child healthcare.

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