Skip Navigation

Pediatric Orthopaedics

Scoliosis & Spinal Deformity Clinic

Once the decision for surgery has been made, you will be contacted (usually 2 to 3 weeks prior to surgery) by an Orthopaedic Surgical Coordinator to discuss your date of surgery and any pre-operative appointments that may be required.

Pre-Operative Appointments

Autologous Blood Donation

What to Expect

Day of Surgery

This day will seem like a very long day to your family and friends. You will arrive at the hospital very early and your surgery may take 6 to 8 hours. It won't feel very long to you because you will be asleep. While you are in surgery, your family and friends will wait in the Surgical Family Waiting Room. Someone from the operating room will call them about every 1.5 hours to let them know how you are doing. As soon as you are in the recovery room and awake, they will be able to visit you.

After Surgery

The first night you will stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This allows constant care by very skilled nurses. The nurses are there to help you should you need anything.

When released from ICU, you will go to a private room where one of your parents may stay with you. Your parent may also spend the night.

Every person is different, but there are certain things that you may expect to happen while you are in the hospital.

Finally, when your doctor says that you are ready to go home, your nurse and social worker will give you and your family instructions on what to do at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having any type of surgery can feel overwhelming and scary. There are a lot of things to learn and remember. That is why we prepared this information for you to read and discuss with your family and your doctor. Sometimes, things are not as scary after we learn more about them.

Q: How do they put me to sleep?

A: The Anesthesiologist will put you to sleep by having you breathe into a mask that has medicine in it. The medicine will make you sleepy.

Q: What is a PCA pump?

A: A Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pump is a machine that allows you to give yourself pain medicine. The PCA pump keeps you from having to get a shot. Anytime you feel uncomfortable, you may simply push a button and you will receive just the right amount of medicine for your pain.

Q: What is a Foley Catheter?

A: A Foley Catheter is a tube that runs from your bladder into a bag usually placed beside your bed. It measures urinary output and keeps you from having to get out of bed each time you need to urinate. The catheter is inserted while you are asleep in the operating room and is removed a day or 2 after surgery. Removing the catheter is quick and does not hurt.

Q: Where does the bone come from that is used to fuse my back?

A: The bone used to fuse your back is taken from your ribs, hips, or from the hospital bone bank. If the bone is taken from you, it will grow back.

Q: What are the rods made of?

A: The rods are made of stainless steel or titanium. They are placed on the portion of the spine that will be fused. The rods do not grow as you grow. The portion of your spine that is fused will stop growing within one year of your surgery.

Q: Am I more at risk to get electrocuted because of the rods than someone who doesn't have them?

A: No.

Q: Will metal detectors go off when I pass through them?

A: No.

Q: Will the rods have to be removed later on?

A: No, unless there is an underlying problem. That seldom occurs.

Q: Will the surgery or rods interfere with pregnancy when I am older and will I be able to have an epidural?

A: No, the rods will not interfere with pregnancy or delivery. You may or may not be able to have an epidural. Getting an epidural depends on the level of your fusion.

Q: How long will my scar be?

A: The length of your scar depends on the amount of spine that requires fusion. Please ask your doctor at your re-operative appointment.

Q: How should I wear my hair on the day of surgery?

A: It is best to wash your hair the night before surgery and pull it up away from your neck.

Q: Can I wash my hair after surgery?

A: Not until your first follow-up appointment with your doctor. You can use a hair product called No Rinse Shampoo (sold at Sally's Beauty supply: 336-788-8164336-788-8164, 336-924-6860336-924-6860, 336-377-3962336-377-3962 or 336-768-8437336-768-8437.

Q: What kind of clothes do I wear after surgery?

A: While you are in the hospital you can wear anything that is comfortable. The first day or 2, you will be in a hospital gown but as soon as you feel like it, you can wear your own clothes.

Q: Will I have to wear a back brace after surgery?

A: Most patients do not. However some people are required to wear a back brace. Please discuss this with your doctor at your pre-operative appointment.

Q: When can I go back to school?

A: Your doctor will probably write you out of school for about 6 weeks. Until you are able to return to school, you will receive home schooling. Home schooling may begin the first or second week after you arrive home from the hospital.

Q: May I carry or roll a book bag?

A: You are not allowed to carry more than a notebook to and from school. Your doctor will write a note which allows you to have a set of books at home and a set of books at school.

Q: When will I come back for my follow-up appointment?

A: When you leave the hospital, a nurse will provide you with all of your necessary follow-up appointment information. You should be given a 1 to 2 week follow-up appointment. If not, please call your doctor's office for an appointment.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask your doctor at your pre-operative appointment.

Please put this information in a place where you will remember where it is. If you feel frightened or have questions, you may go back and read it again. You may also call the office if you have any questions. Remember that sometimes we are with a patient and will not be able to speak with you right away. If you will leave your name and number, we will call back as soon as possible.

Here are the numbers you may call:

  • 336-716-8094336-716-8094
  • 336-716-0049336-716-0049

Quick Reference

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

New Patients 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE
Returning Patients

Contact the Department

Main 336-716-8200
Fax 336-716-8018

For assistance after hours, please call 336-716-2011 and ask for the Orthopaedic Surgeon on call.
Find a Doctor Ways to Give
Last Updated: 05-21-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

© Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.