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Principles of spine surgery 

Principles of spine surgery
Principles of spine surgery
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Jeremy Fairbank

and Nuno Batista

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Spine surgery addresses pain, loss of function and deformity of the spine. Earlier conceptions of chronic pain have changed, but there is still a limited role for surgery to manage painful spinal pathology. Loss of function is caused by tumours, fractures and infections, all of which can be helped by surgery. Deformity is called scoliosis and/or kyphosis, and be corrected by surgery. Spinal deformity is increasingly recognized in adults as an important cause of disability, especially when there is loss of sagittal balance. Advances in anaesthesia and implant technology have allowed the spine surgeon greater opportunities to help seriously disabled patients in ways not possible 20 years ago. Fractures occur following trauma, but are also associated with impaired bone strength, particularly through osteoporosis.

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