Orthopaedic Spine Center
450 Broadway St. | MC6342
Redwood City, CA 94063
For Adult Patients: (650) 725-5905

Patient Case Study #5: Degenerative Scoliosis and Minimally-Invasive Surgery


65 year-old man with a long history of back pain who more recently developed significant left leg pain which inhibited him from walking more than 5 minutes at a time. He failed conservative treatment including physical therapy and injections.


Some mild weakness in the left quadriceps muscle with notable atrophy of the leg.


Preoperative x-rays show the patient from the back and the side with evidence of scoliosis. A CT scan (not shown) shows narrowing around the nerves on the concavity (left side) of the scoliosis.

Preop x-ray 1 Preop x-ray 2
Above: Preoperative x-rays.

Postoperative x-rays show the same patient at 3 months after the surgery.

Postop x-ray 1 Postop x-ray 2
Above: Postoperative x-rays 3 months after the surgery.


Degenerative scoliosis with stenosis resulting in back pain and leg pain.


Dr. Cheng performed minimally invasive techniques to remove the discs and place cages in the front of the spine through the side of the patient (XLIF, or eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion), and percutaneously placed pedicle screws through small incisions in the back. The surgery took about 3 hours to complete.


The patient was up walking without a brace on the night of surgery. He was discharged from the hospital on the 2nd day after his operation.

After the latest follow-up, the patient had complete resolution of his back and leg pain. He was walking over 1 hour at a time through the shopping mall and is very happy with his result (see the testimony by B.P.)