Can You Get an Epidural with Scoliosis Surgery?

Definition of scoliosis

Scoliosis is a medical condition characterized by a side-to-side curvature of the spine, as well as a rotation of the vertebrae, that causes a person’s spine to look twisted or curved. This condition can range from mild to severe and can affect people of all ages, from children to adults. It can be congenital, meaning it’s present from birth, or it can be symptomatic and develop later in life. Scoliosis can be treated through a variety of methods, depending on the severity of the condition, such as physical therapy, bracing, or surgery. While epidural injections are not typically used in the course of scoliosis treatment, they can be a possibility when it comes to surgery, depending on the type of procedure being performed.

Types of scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can affect both children and adults. The degree of curvature can vary greatly, from mild curves that hardly cause any symptoms to severe curves that impact a person’s daily life, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities. Some types of scoliosis may require surgery to correct, which can be performed using an epidural as part of the procedure. Different types of scoliosis can require different surgical approaches, so it is important for individuals to meet with their doctor to discuss the most effective treatment for their condition. Curves of varying degrees can be classified as “structural” or “functional” scoliosis. Structural scoliosis is caused by an abnormality in the vertebrae, while functional scoliosis is caused by something else such as bad posture or leg length discrepancy. Depending on the type of scoliosis and its severity, surgery may or may not be required, and the doctor can determine this. An epidural can be used in scoliosis surgery to provide pain relief and help improve the patient’s outcome following the procedure.

Overview of scoliosis surgery

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine which impacts the spine’s normal shape. Surgery for scoliosis is typically recommended for patients with a measured spinal curvature of 40 degrees or more, or if the curvature is progressing rapidly. Surgery involves the placement of metal rods and screws reinforced with a hard material to stabilise the spine and reposition the vertebrae into a straighter alignment. Certain types of surgeries for scoliosis may also involve the use of bone grafts or spinal fusion to correct the curvature of the spine and reduce pain. In certain cases, an epidural can be administered during scoliosis surgery to reduce pain and blood loss during the procedure.

Benefits of scoliosis surgery

Scoliosis surgery can be a beneficial experience for those living with the condition. By surgically correcting the curvature of the spine, patients can experience a decrease in pain, better posture, and improved overall quality of life. With the help of an epidural, patients can also expect to have less post-operative discomfort and discomfort during recovery. Although there are risks associated with surgery, scoliosis surgery can be a life-changing event for many people suffering from the condition. It can help to improve range of motion and reduce pain, as well as improve one’s ability to perform everyday activities. With the help of an epidural, patients can also expect to have an easier recovery and faster return to normal activities.

Risks of scoliosis surgery

The risks associated with scoliosis surgery must be taken into account when considering whether or not to undergo the procedure. While epidural anesthesia is generally safe, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. These include infections, blood clots, adverse reactions to anesthesia and nerve damage. Additionally, complications can arise from the implantation of metal rods, screws or other hardware used to stabilize the spine. Finally, there is a risk of nerve damage, which could result in paralysis. It is important to discuss the risks and make any necessary lifestyle changes prior to having the surgery to ensure the best possible outcome after the procedure.

Overview of epidural

Epidurals are a form of regional anaesthesia that provide pain relief to the lower body without causing complete numbness. They are commonly used to alleviate pain during childbirth and for surgeries involving the lower body, including scoliosis surgery. An epidural works by injecting a local anaesthetic and/or a long-acting opioid into the epidural space around the spinal cord. This blocks the pain signals from travelling to the brain, resulting in pain relief.

The benefits of an epidural include:

  1. Reduced pain and discomfort
  2. Increased patient satisfaction and comfort
  3. Lower risk of complications
  4. Reduced need for additional pain relief medications
  5. Improved outcomes

However, epidurals are not without risks. For example, they can lead to complications such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. Therefore, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding if an epidural is right for you.

Benefits of epidural

The epidural injection has many benefits for scoliosis surgery. It can help to reduce the amount of pain post-operatively, so the patient can return to their daily activities more quickly. It can also reduce the risk of complications, such as infection and blood clots, which can be more common after scoliosis surgery. Benefits of epidural injection include:

  1. Post-operative Pain Reduction – Epidural injections reduce pain significantly during the post-operative period, allowing the patient to return to their daily activities more quickly.
  2. Risk Reduction – Epidural injections reduce the risk of complications associated with surgery, such as infection and blood clots.
  3. Anatomical Correction – Epidural injections help to correct the anatomical deformities caused by scoliosis.
  4. Improved Mobility – Epidural injections can improve mobility and range of motion, allowing the patient to perform daily activities with more ease.
  5. Quality of Life Improvement – Epidural injections can help improve overall quality of life by reducing pain and increasing mobility.

Epidural injections are a safe and effective way to reduce pain and improve the quality of life post-operatively for those undergoing scoliosis surgery.

Risks of epidural

Epidural anesthesia is a popular choice for many surgical procedures, but there are certain considerations to take into account when deciding whether or not to use it in scoliosis surgery. Even though it is generally considered safe, there are several risks associated with epidural anesthesia:

  1. Blood clots can form near the epidural injection site.
  2. Infection at the injection site.
  3. Mood changes, including anxiety, agitation and depression.
  4. Headaches, ranging from mild to severe.
  5. Itching or burning sensation around the injection site.
  6. Nerve damage that results in temporary or permanent paralysis.
  7. In rare cases, epidural anesthesia can cause a drop in blood pressure and cardiac arrest.

It’s important to consider these risks with your doctor before deciding whether or not epidural anesthesia is the right choice for you.

Can epidural be safely used with scoliosis surgery

Epidural anaesthesia is a popular technique used to control pain during surgery. However, there has been some concern that epidurals may not be the best option for patients undergoing scoliosis surgery. While epidural anaesthesia does not increase the risk of adverse effects for these patients, it does not provide them with the same level of pain relief compared to other anaesthetic options. Studies have also shown that there is a higher risk of complications such as infection when epidurals are used for scoliosis surgery. As a result, many medical professionals believe that other modes of anaesthesia, such as spinal blocks and general anaesthesia, should be used instead of epidural anaesthesia for scoliosis surgery. While epidural anaesthesia is still an option, patients should be aware of the risks that may be associated with its use.

Alternatives to epidural for scoliosis surgery

For those who are undergoing scoliosis surgery, epidurals are often the go-to option for pain relief during the procedure. However, there are some alternative methods of pain relief available for those who cannot have or choose not to have an epidural. Depending on the type of surgery, local or general anesthesia may be used to reduce or eliminate pain. Additionally, techniques such as patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) are available, where the patient administers a set amount of pain medication through an IV. Other methods such as ice, heat, or electrical nerve stimulation may also be used to reduce pain levels. Ultimately, the right pain relief method for scoliosis surgery should be decided between the patient and their medical team, as each person’s situation is unique.


In conclusion, the answer to the question of whether you can have an epidural with scoliosis surgery is yes, although the decision to do so should be discussed with your doctor. An epidural can provide pain relief during and after scoliosis surgery, however, it is important to take into account any possible risks associated with the procedure. Ultimately, it is up to you and your doctor to decide if an epidural is the best option for your situation. It is important to discuss all the details of the procedure with your doctor to ensure the best outcome for your scoliosis surgery.

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