Vertebral Column Resection (VCR) in Pediatric Spinal Deformity
Part 2 4-19-2021
How is a Vertebral Column Resection Performed?
A vertebral column resection is performed under general anesthesia, which means the patient is asleep or unconscious, on a breathing machine (ventilator) and is face-down on the operating room table.
Here is one of our spine nurses demonstrating how someone is positioned in the OR.
Spinal cord monitoring of the sensory tracts (e.g. light touch) and motor tracts (muscle control) are used throughout the procedure to help ensure the safety of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is monitored electrically, and the signals are like an EKG (electrocardiogram) of the heart.
The surgical approach almost always only posterior (from the back) only. A skin incision is make and then back of the vertebral column is exposed.
Pedicle screws are placed from the back and into the body of the vertebra.
Radiographs, or x-rays, confirm the appropriate placement of the screws into the spine.
The screws will later be connected together with rods to help stabilize the spine.
All the above steps are necessary before a VCR is done.
The next blog post will show how a VCR is completed.