The Veritas Health Forum is moving! On September 30, 2020, this Forum will no longer be available. Please read important information about the changes here.

Smith Peterson Osteotomy

Next week I am having a fusion revision and extension and Smith Peterson Osteotomy.

I am not finding much info on the SPO and what to expect from recovery. Has anyone had one of these before and are willing to share what their recovery was like? 

The nerves are starting to really set in that this is finally happening next Monday. It was put off once due to Covid-19. I'm struggling with not being able to have my husband with me. He always stays around the clock with me after major surgeries. This is definitely going to be a very different experience.



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713


    I had to look this up as I had never heard of this. I am sure this is the same information you found but I wanted to let other members know the definition. A SPO is described as an opening wedge osteotomy with a hinge at the posterior aspect of the disc space. An osteotomy is the surgical cutting of a bone or removal of a piece of bone.

    Below is the link for June surgery Buddies if you would like to join. We only have one member there so you could post about your surgery and recovery.
    June, 2020 Surgery Buddies

    Take care and hope to see you there.

  • Sandra thank you for your reply. I will go over to the June Buddies. 

    That is like the info I did find. My understanding is that it isn't done frequently and not all neurosurgeons are trained in it. 

    I had my original fusion in March 2019. It failed to fuse and I have developed flat back syndrome as a result of all the damage. The SPO is for the flat back.

  • advertisement
  • I might be a bit late answering this as I don't visit the forums much these days... perhaps you have had your surgery already? 

    Anyway, I had T9-L3 fusion done last year and it involved SPOs. As Sandra says it is a bone removal technique that allows the spine to be manipulated into a better anatomical alignment and then fixed permanently into this better position. In the case of SPO, I believe the facet joints and parts of the lamina are cut away to allow the spine to be manipulated. In my case it was a safer option than the alternative which was a pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO).

    My recovery was remarkably quick but then I am relatively young and was still reasonably fit. I was in hospital for six days, off pain killers while still on the ward (I was throwing the opiates down the toilet while the nurses weren't looking) and back to walking several miles a day within a few weeks. I had a couple of setbacks during the recovery (who doesn't?) but earlier this year I went skiing for the first time in five years and this summer I have also been able to do a little light jogging. I am about 16 months post-surgery and apart from a little stiffness at times, I often don't even notice I had surgery that much. The dark days are hopefully consigned to the past. Anyway, following the operation, it will probably feel like someone has blown a hole in your back with a shot gun from close range at first. Moving will be very slow and difficult and I expect the pedicle screws will feel like Wolverine has dug his claws into your back from both sides. That subsides within a week or so. You may need help getting out of bed. I got stuck a few times and had to send a text message to my wife to help me out. Wiping your bum is also tricky so you may need help there. In my case, I found my movements started to improve within a couple of weeks and by six months, I was feeling good. After a year, I felt great!

Sign In or Join Us to comment.