Many patients with spine problems can be treated non-surgically. Physical therapy, home exercises, over the counter treatments, or pain management and anti-inflammatory medication and spinal injections are recommended prior to considering surgery.
Unless you are experiencing full or partial paralyzation, weakness of the bowel or bladder directly related to their spine problem, the choice to have spine surgery is a major decision to make. Patients whose quality of life is compromised due to significant pain or tingling in the extremities or symptoms related to spinal cord or nerve root compression, such as weakness in an arm or leg that non-surgical treatment options have not provided relief; surgical intervention is the best decision.
Most Common Spine surgeries
Spinal fusion is surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine, eliminating motion between them. Spinal fusions are used to treat instability of the spine, severe degeneration of the discs, or a combination of these issues. Spinal fusion involves placing bone or a bonelike material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, pedicle screws and/or rods may be used to stabilize and hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal (fuse) into one solid unit.
Discectomy is a procedure to remove a portion of a herniated disc in the spine, which is bulging and pushing on a nerve. and traditional lumbar fusion. Laminectomy is a procedure that is used to treat spinal stenosis or pressure on the nerves of the low back. The surgery involves an incision on the back of the spine that allows the surgeon to remove bone spurs and thickened ligaments that are pressing on the nerves of the low back.
Laminectomy is a type of surgery in which a surgeon removes part or all of the vertebral bone (cervical or lumbar). This helps to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots that may be caused by injury, herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal), or tumors. A laminectomy is considered only after medical treatments have proven to be ineffective.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a type of neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviate corresponding pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The surgery is approached through the front (anterior) of the cervical spine. The disc is removed from between two vertebral bones (discectomy). Next a fusion is performed, which involves placing bone graft and/or implants where the disc originally was. This is done to provide stability and strength to the area.
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) is performed to remove a disc that is the source of back or leg pain and fuse spinal vertebrae with bone grafts. It is called a posterior procedure because the spine is approached through an incision on the back. Instrumentation is used to provide space for placing the grafts and to help stabilize the spine
Total Disc Replacement or Artificial Disc Replacement involves replacing a painful disc with an artificial disc. Artificial disc surgery may be performed on the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine). Artificial discs are designed with the goal of mimicking the form and function of the spine’s natural disc. Many patients will not be eligible for a disc replacement as it can only treat limited types of disc pathology.
Sacroiliac joint fusion is a minimally invasive fusion of the sacroiliac joint. Instability in the SI joint is a major pain generator in some patients. This surgical treatment is used to address the instability from the joint between bones in the spine and hip (sacrum and ilium) by stabilizing the painful joint with an implant.
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spine augmentation surgery used to treat vertebral compression fractures of the spine that have not responded well to conservative treatment. These painful, wedge-shaped fractures can be caused by osteoporosis and injury. Left untreated, they can lead to a humped spine (kyphosis). By restoring the vertebra height with a balloon and injecting cement into the fractured bone, stabilizing the vertebrae.