In the US alone, 54 out of every one million people suffer from spinal cord injuries. This technically means there are over 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases annually. Car accidents and falls are the major culprits of these injuries, and as a result, some victims require spinal cord surgeries.
Apart from accidental spinal injuries, a staggering 65 million Americans suffer from some form of back pain. You may also have spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, scoliosis, or spondylosis. Regardless, it’s advisable that you understand all the different spine procedures available.
This information will help you understand the best option. You’ll understand what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Read on to find out the four main types of spine procedures.
Laminectomy/Lumbar Decompression Surgery
A laminectomy is a back surgery designed to relieve compression on the spine. The surgery starts with the removal of the lamina, which is the part of the bone in your spinal column that forms the vertebrae arc of your spine. The lamina forms the backside of your spinal canal and covers the spinal cord.
The goal of the surgeon is to cut the lamina and remove it, along with the ligamentum flavum. The ligamentum flavum is a ligament that essentially supports your spinal column. In most cases, this ligament is the cause of the compression, which is known as central stenosis.
However, compression could be caused by several other things. It could be bone spurs, overgrown joints, a bulging disc, or ligament tissue. A professional surgeon will determine the main cause of the compression to correct the problem accordingly. A laminectomy spine procedure is performed to gain access to a ruptured or herniated disc or remove bone spurs, also known as osteophytes.
It’s also the spine procedure that addresses nerve damage and is done to relieve pressure on nerves. Compressed nerves can be a source of great back and leg pain and this surgery can improve your life significantly. It’s also done to remove a tumor from the spine and treat numbness.
A discectomy procedure is known by several other names. Percutaneous discectomy, microdiscectomy, lumbar discectomy, and herniated disc surgery. It’s also a decompression surgery that involves removing whatever is placing pressure on the spinal column or the nerve root.
The procedure could involve the removal of a herniated portion of the invertebrate disc. If it happens to be placing pressure on your spinal cord, it could cause balance issues, mobility problems, numbness, pain, or weakness. A discectomy surgery could help resolve all these issues, and you could learn more at SpineCentral.
A microdiscectomy is the minimally invasive version of a discectomy surgery. Only a very small portion of the nucleus pulposus is removed using a laser through a small incision. A percutaneous surgery, on the other hand, involved the removal of a part of the disc using either suction or a laser.
Spinal fusion is a common spine procedure that addresses issues caused by spinal instability. Some of these issues include scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. It also addresses other issues with spinal alignment.
There are several types of scoliosis. Idiopathic, congenital, degenerative, and neuromuscular scoliosis. Spinal fusion is usually recommended as a last resort treatment for these spinal conditions.
During spinal fusion surgery, the surgeon fuses two or more bones together with a healthy bone. This healthy bone is usually harvested from your body. It’s locked in place using screws, plates, metal rods, or other hardware.
A spinal fusion is a permanent surgery. Fusing the bones together stabilizes the spine and corrects the alignment. This type of spine procedure can correct a spinal curve by up to 70%.
Spinal fusion spine procedure also addresses other issues like degenerative disc disease. It could treat spinal stenosis, spinal disc herniation, fractures, and tumors.
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are technically similar procedures. They treat compression fractures of the vertebral. When the vertebrae compresses or fractures, a patient could experience excruciating pain.
Most of the time, compression fractures are caused by osteoporosis. However, compression fractures can also be caused by injuries. When the case is mild, a spinal surgeon performs a vertebroplasty spine procedure.
They insert bone cement in the fracture using a long hollow needle and inject it into the affected vertebrae. If the spinal compression case is severe, they perform the kyphoplasty spine procedure instead. This procedure involves inserting a balloon inside then inflating it to lift the compression back up.
After successful lifting, the surgeon then inserts the bone cement. It strengthens the vertebrae, improving pain and preventing collapse. Both of these spine procedures treat biopsy tumors, osteoporosis, and compression fractures.
At What Point Is Spinal Surgery Recommended?
There are many instances where an orthopedic surgeon will suggest spine procedures. However, most surgeries are usually the last option or an absolute necessity.
A surgeon is likely to recommend surgery after you have exhausted less invasive treatments. Treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture.
They may also recommend surgery if they find that you have a treatable physical deformity, such as degenerative scoliosis. If the surgery can correct the issue, lessen pain, and improve your life, it’ll be a good idea. Before surgery, you have to be in good health mentally and physically.
Essentially, this means healthy enough to recover. They will check for secondary diseases or weight issues that could complicate recovery. Depending on your case, they could opt for a minimally invasive surgery instead.
Different Spine Procedures: Which Spine Treatment Suits Your Problem?
If you’re currently facing a spinal cord injury and require spinal care, these are the different spine procedures. If you have undergone other spine treatments you may feel that surgery is the last resort. Your surgeon will recommend the best spine procedure from the ones listed above.
Beyond that, the best thing you can do is find the best surgeon in your area for the spine procedure. If you like our post, we have more in our blog section. Please check it out today for informative and valuable content.