There are various surgical procedures available to treat back conditions as well as conditions that originate in the spine. Many debilitating and painful health issues actually originate in the spine and therefore must be addressed there.
Let’s talk about some of the most commonly performed types of back surgery and how they may apply to your back pain or other condition.
When a vertebral disc in the spine becomes damaged, it might be necessary to remove it partially or fully. The surgeon removes the vertebral disc during a discectomy and replaces it with a prosthetic disc.
Common discectomy procedures include:
● Anterior Cervical Discectomy – Patients who suffer from herniated discs in the neck or degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine (neck area) may have to undergo anterior cervical discectomy (ACD).
● Microdiscectomy – Patients experiencing pain or numbness in their legs may have herniated discs pressing on the nerves, which may require microdiscectomy. This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, so the incision will be small and you will be able to go home later that day.
Lumbar laminectomy is done to alleviate pain due to compressed nerves caused by spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or tumors. This operation involves removing a portion of the lamina, the bony roof of the spinal vertebra. This helps decompress the nerves by enlarging the spinal canal.
If spinal stenosis is in the neck, it may cause cervical myelopathy. Myelopathy can also be caused by bone spurs or severe arthritis.
The patient may have to undergo a cervical laminoplasty to correct the issue. In this operation, the surgeon makes an opening in the lamina, creating space for the spinal cord and thereby removing pressure on the nerves.
Patients with spinal fractures, infections, tumors, scoliosis, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and other conditions may consider spinal fusion. The procedure involves fusing two or more vertebral segments to relieve pain aggravated by movement of the affected vertebrae or discs.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
For patients with osteoporosis, the surgeon may recommend one of these two procedures. During the operation, the surgeon will place bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize the bone. Both are minimally invasive and can be performed virtually anywhere in the spine.
Kyphoplasty involves inserting a tiny balloon into the fractured vertebra, which is then inflated to create space for the cement to be poured into. After the balloon is deflated, the bone cement is poured into the now-open space. The procedure returns the vertebra to its original height and prevents the fractured vertebra from collapsing any further.
Vertebroplasty achieves the same spinal stability but without the use of the balloon. The bone cement is poured directly into the fractured vertebra. Vertebroplasty doesn’t return the vertebra to its natural height and shape, but still prevents any further collapse of the vertebra.
Spine Surgeons in Colorado Springs
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we offer a wide range of advanced surgical treatments for a variety of neurological and spinal conditions. Our board-certified neurosurgeons can treat your back pains so you can get back to enjoying life again.
If you’re anywhere in Colorado, call us at (303) 790-1800, or fill out our online form to request an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you here.