Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Deformity Correction

Deformity correction refers to a variety of medical procedures aimed at rectifying physical abnormalities in the structure of bones and joints. These deformities can result from congenital conditions, developmental issues, trauma, or diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Correction is often necessary to restore function, alleviate pain, and improve the quality of life.

Common Symptoms

  • Scoliosis: Abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.
  • Kyphosis: Excessive outward curvature of the spine, causing a hunchback appearance.
  • Leg length discrepancy: Difference in the length of the legs.
  • Clubfoot: A congenital deformity where the foot is twisted out of shape or position.
  • Bowlegs (genu varum): Legs curve outward at the knees.
  • Knock knees (genu valgum): Legs curve inward so the knees touch but the ankles do not.

Cause & Anatomy

  • Congenital conditions: Birth defects such as congenital scoliosis or clubfoot.
  • Developmental issues: Growth disorders like Blount’s disease or rickets.
  • Trauma: Fractures or injuries that heal improperly.
  • Diseases: Conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, or infections that affect bone structure.
  • Neuromuscular disorders: Conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy affecting muscle and bone alignment.

Diagnosis

  • Medical history and physical examination: Evaluation of symptoms, family history, and a physical examination to assess the deformity.
  • Imaging tests:
  • X-rays: To visualize bone structure and alignment.
  • MRI and CT scans: Provide detailed images of bones, joints, and soft tissues.
  • Bone scans: To detect bone abnormalities or infections.

Prevention

  • Early detection and treatment: Regular check-ups and early intervention for developmental issues.
  • Protective measures: Using protective gear during activities to prevent trauma.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Maintaining bone health through diet, exercise, and avoiding smoking.

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Physical therapy: Exercises to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and support proper alignment.
  • Orthotic devices: Braces, shoe inserts, or splints to correct or accommodate deformities.
  • Medications: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or medications to treat underlying conditions like osteoporosis.

Surgery

  • Osteotomy: Cutting and realigning bones to correct deformities.
  • Spinal fusion: Fusing two or more vertebrae together to correct spinal deformities like scoliosis.
  • External fixation: Using external frames and pins to gradually correct bone alignment.
  • Internal fixation: Using plates, screws, or rods to stabilize bones during healing.
  • Limb lengthening: Surgical procedures to gradually lengthen bones.
  • Soft tissue surgery: Procedures to release or lengthen muscles, tendons, or ligaments to improve joint function and alignment.

Rehabilitation

  • Post-surgical care: Pain management, wound care, and gradual mobilization.
  • Physical therapy: Essential for regaining strength, flexibility, and function after surgery.
  • Occupational therapy: Assistance with adapting to daily activities and improving fine motor skills.

Complications

  • Infection: Risk of infection at the surgical site.
  • Non-union or malunion: Bones may not heal properly or in the correct position.
  • Nerve damage: Potential for nerve injury during surgery.
  • Recurrence: Deformity may recur, requiring additional treatment.

Prognosis

  • Varies: Depending on the severity of the deformity, the specific condition, and the treatment approach. Early intervention often leads to better outcomes.
  • Improved quality of life: Successful correction can lead to significant improvements in function, pain relief, and overall quality of life.

FAQ’s

What is the recovery time for deformity correction surgery?
Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery, the severity of the deformity, and individual patient factors. It can range from a few weeks to several months.

Can non-surgical methods effectively correct deformities?
Non-surgical methods can be effective, especially when the deformity is detected early or is less severe. Orthotic devices, physical therapy, and medications can help manage and correct deformities.

Is deformity correction surgery painful?
Pain management is a crucial part of post-surgical care. While some discomfort is expected, pain is typically managed with medications and physical therapy.

Are there age limits for deformity correction?
There are no strict age limits, but treatment approaches may vary based on age. Pediatric patients often respond well to early intervention, while adults may require different surgical techniques.

What are the risks of deformity correction surgery?
Risks include infection, nerve damage, non-union or malunion of bones, and recurrence of the deformity. A thorough discussion with a healthcare provider can help understand specific risks.

How successful are deformity correction surgeries?
Success rates are generally high, especially with early intervention and appropriate post-operative care. Most patients experience significant improvements in function and pain relief.

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