An osteotomy refers to a surgical procedure in which bone is cut, removed, or altered. In the spine, an osteotomy is sometimes performed to create motion between segments of the spine in order to correct a deformity. Another reason for an osteotomy may be to remove a block of bone that obstructs the spinal canal or requires removal for clearer visualization of nerves or other structures around the spine.
Spinal deformity correction surgery with osteotomy is an option when nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve pain or symptoms. Surgery may be needed for patients whose deformity is progressing or who have curvatures leading to nerve compression. Surgical reconstruction involves some correction of the curve, with a goal of relieving pain and preventing the curvature from worsening in the future.
The purpose of a spinal osteotomy include to enable the patient to resume a more erect posture, relieve the compression of the upper abdominal viscera by the rib margin, improve the diaphragmatic respiration and achieve horizontal vision and a good appearance.