Kyphosis is a degenerative spinal disease that gradually pushes the curve of your spine into a hunched position. It's fairly common in older patients, especially women, but can also present in infants, children, and young adults. Surgical correction of this spine deformity is possible, but not without its risks. Before opting for surgery, even a minimally invasive one, you should consider whether or not you're a good candidate for it.

Kyphosis can be corrected through a variety of methods. During one common procedure, surgeons reposition your spine into a healthier alignment. Your vertebrae are held in place with rods, cables, plates, and screws. The spine is then further strengthened by spinal fusion, where vertebrae are fused together with grafted bone. As you can imagine, this surgery comes with a moderate risk of side effects, which is why not every patient should undergo it.  

Preventing Further Deterioration

The first and most pressing assessment when it comes to kyphosis is severity. For many patients, kyphosis degeneration is slow and mild. While it's upsetting to be unable to stand up straight, these cases are often not good candidates for surgery. At other times, kyphosis moves quickly or begins at such a young age that future severe curvature and damage are probable. 

Managing Pain

One key factor in whether or not to operate on kyphosis is the pain levels you deal with every day. If your kyphosis causes little to no pain, or it can be managed with physical therapy and medication, you're less likely to require surgery. If, on the other hand, kyphosis pain is a constant ordeal, the potential rewards of surgery may outweigh the risks. 

Improving Your Body's Functions

Mild kyphosis has a relatively small impact on a person's overall health. Severe kyphosis, meanwhile, impairs balance and pushes abdominal organs into each other. You may experience digestive issues or difficulty breathing and have trouble moving around safely. Advanced cases can even damage neurological function. This situation is another one that frequently demands surgical correction, as your long-term health is at stake.  

Projecting Positive Outcomes

All of these factors should be discussed between you and your doctor before a final decision is made. Armed with enough information, your physician can weigh the benefits, costs, and risks of correcting your kyphosis. If he or she believes the outcome has enough chance of success to be worth the risks, you may be eligible for a corrective procedure. The only way to find out is to ask, so contact your doctor to learn about your options for spine deformity surgery today.