Spine surgery may be recommended for you if you have a significant back condition or an injury to your spine. Surgery may also be the best option if nonsurgical treatment methods have not worked successfully.
Advances in spine surgery and greater knowledge of human anatomy have enabled many spine surgeries to be performed in a minimally invasive manner. This makes the surgery safer, with reduced healing time, and with better outcomes for patients than ever before.
What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
This is a complex arthroscopic procedure that utilizes very small, highly specialized surgical tools and a viewing scope, which are inserted through much smaller incisions than conventional surgery. Surgeons can now perform many intricate spinal surgical procedures using minimally invasive techniques for conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, fractures, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis.
Benefits of minimally invasive back surgery include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Smaller incisions
- Fewer stitches
- Smaller scars
- Less pain
- Less blood loss during the operation
- Fewer complications and surgical risks, such as infection
- Faster recovery
Types of Back Surgery
Minimally invasive spinal surgery isn’t appropriate for all back conditions, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for it. Patients with certain health conditions, severe spinal deformities, or who have a large amount of scar tissue around the area may require conventional surgery instead.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
A spinal fusion is designed to treat back pain and spinal instability which results from conditions such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions affecting the spine. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more vertebrae to strengthen and stabilize that segment of the spine, and it reduces or eliminates pain that is emanating from that part of the spine.
This procedure eliminates movement between the damaged vertebrae. However, because the surgery usually focuses on a very small section of the spine, any loss in range of motion is minimal. Plates, rods, and other tiny tools may be used to enable the vertebrae to naturally fuse together as it heals.
Artificial Disc Replacement
Having an artificial disc replacement can be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery for conditions such as degenerative disc disease. It involves replacing damaged discs between the vertebrae with artificial (prosthetic) discs. Unlike spinal fusion, a disc replacement allows more natural motion of the spine, a return to natural height, and better stress absorption in the spine.
A discectomy is performed to relieve pain caused by pressure on the nerve root or spinal cord, often the result of a herniated disc. A discectomy involves removing the portion of the disc that has caused damage and is putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
In this procedure, no material is used to replace the removed disc tissue. In certain cases, a discectomy can be performed arthroscopically, which is a minimally invasive procedure.
Cervical Laminaplasty Surgery
The cervical spine is made up of a series of small bones in your neck, located at the top of the spinal column. Certain degenerative spinal conditions can cause the opening for the spine to become smaller, which can cause tightness around the spine and can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This can cause symptoms such as numbness, pain, weakness in the arms or hands, and balance problems.
To solve this problem, cervical laminoplasty is used to create a larger and wider opening in the bone for the spinal cord and nerves, so they are no longer compressed. This takes pressure off and helps to relieve symptoms.
Orthopedic Doctors in West Jersey
If you are experiencing chronic back pain or any other painful orthopedic condition or injury, contact our friendly team here at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey in Dover. We provide comprehensive musculoskeletal medical care, and our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will help you become as pain-free as possible.
To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to helping you experience less back pain and more living!