When is the Spine Cord Surgery Performed?
Spinal cord surgery is recommended in symptoms like severe back and leg pain, numbness in the legs and back muscle spasms. These symptoms can be due to the following conditions:
- Spinal stenosis: A condition where the spinal nerves are stressed. This occurs due to arthritis, aging, congenital defects, spine tumor, trauma injury and spondylolisthesis.
- Disc Injury: This is caused due to degenerative disc disease, herniated disc and the bulged disc.
When Is the Spine Operation Recommended?
The spine operation is recommended when conservative techniques fail to relieve symptoms in the patient. The conservative techniques include:
- Medications and shots
- Spinal decompression therapy
What are the Common Types of Spine Surgery?
The common procedures for spine surgery are:
- Lumbar laminectomy: In laminectomy a thin plate of bone called the lamina located on the back of the vertebra is removed so that the space inside the spinal canal increases thus relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves.
- Laminotomy: A portion of the lamina that covers the spinal cord is removed. It is the same as lumbar laminectomy, except that it removes less lamina bone.
- Foraminotomy: The bone or tissue blocking the passage of the nerve roots exit from the spinal column is removed.
- Discectomy: A part of the herniated intervertebral disc that stresses the nerve is removed thus relieving pressure from the compressed nerve. These above techniques form the spinal decompression surgery. This involves the removal of the bony structure or soft tissues which decompresses the spinal nerves. The spinal decompression surgery is usually followed by a spinal fusion surgery which helps in fusing the joint thus making the spine stable and preventing the stenosis from recurring.
- Spinal Fusion: The space between the two vertebrae is fused using a bone graft with or without the use of instruments like rods and screws. This is done for fusing the spine to immobilize it and eventually relieve the pressure.
- Disc Replacement: Here the injured or the ruptured disc is replaced with an artificial metal-plastic disc.
Types of Spine Surgery
Spine surgery can be performed by two methods:
- Open surgery
- Minimally invasive spine surgery
What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
A minimally invasive spine surgery is carried out through laser, tubes or endoscope; to treat conditions like degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spinal fractures, tumors, deformities and spondylolisthesis. It has some obvious advantages:
- less operative infection
- reduced post-operative pain
- reduced blood loss during surgery
- less soft tissue damage due to small incisions
- faster recovery
- can be performed in an outpatient facility
Some rare cases of spinal infection or tumor cannot be treated with this technique. In these cases open surgical methods serve as the best treatment option.
What Is Laser Spine Surgery?
Laser spine surgery uses the laser technique to cut the soft tissues that stresses the spine nerves. Since it is a minimally invasive spine surgery, it has all the advantages that open surgery don’t provide.