28 May What types of spine surgeries there are
When a patient seeks neurosurgeon’s help he or she usually do not know what types of spine surgeries there are. This is understandable. Not all of the people have medical education and many medical words and names seem to be from another world. However, there are still some patients who think that they know best what type of surgery they should undergo. What suits them best. But it must be kept in mind that such decisions are made on the basis of multiple various factors. Such as patient’s ailments, pain symptoms, medical tests results, and many others. During the consultation, neurosurgeon evaluates patient’s state of health, medical history and magnetic resonance imaging or, in some cases, computed tomography imaging results. Only then the most appropriate surgical treatment may be appointed by the specialist.
Here is the list of a few spine surgeries types that neurosurgeons perform when there are back pains.
Microdiscectomy is one of the most common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures worldwide. Its main goal is to remove the part of the intervertebral disc (herniated disc material ) that’s putting pressure on the nerve and causing the pain. During the procedure, neurosurgeons use a special microscope to view the disc and nerves. This allows them to make very small incisions to reduce injury to the back muscles. A smaller incision causes less disruption of the back muscles and may significantly decrease recovery time.
In some cases, spinal fusion may be done at the same time as discectomy to help stabilize the spine if necessary. Fusion uses a combination of bone graft and hardware (screws/plates) to connect two vertebrae together. During the healing process, the two vertebrae fuse into one piece of bone and permanently immobilize that portion of the spine. Fusion is rarely needed for a herniated lumbar disc.
Vertebroplasty is a procedure for stabilizing compression fractures in the spine. Bone cement (called polymethylmethacrylate) is injected through the hollow needle into the fractured bone which is in many cases is an outcome of osteoporosis. The cement-strengthened vertebra allows the patient to stand straight, reduces pain, and prevents further fractures.
Microdiscectomy and vertebroplasty are only few spine surgeries that can be recommended by neurosurgeons. What types of spine surgeries there are in medicine as well?
Nucleoplasty ( Radiofrequency Coblation ) is used to treat patients with contained, or mildly herniated discs. This is a decompressive disc procedure where some of the nucleus (nucleus pulposis is the center gel-like substance of the disc) is removed through a probe. No incisions are required to perform this procedure. Typically when a disc herniates, the annulus fibrosis opens and allows the nucleus pulposis to protrude and compress structures such as nerves. A probe is placed into the disc under x-ray guidance. A wand-like device is then inserted through the needle and into the disc. The device uses heat to remove disc material and seal the channel made by the needle.
Microendoscopic Discectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure performed through a tubular device. It is done by making the smallest incision possible and using a tiny camera (an endoscope) to remove part of the bone compressing the nerve roots and causing pain. The procedure is performed under the x-ray guidance to ensure that the route to the herniated disc is made in the correct location. Benefits of microendoscopic discectomy include reduced time in the hospital and a faster recovery.
Modern medicine allows providing various back pain treatments, not only surgical. Only 10% of all patients who consult with our neurosurgeons are prescribed surgical treatment. Different chronic pain treatments, such as facet joint injection, nerve root block, epidural nerve block, and many others, combined with physiotherapy may as well give long-lasting, exceptionally good results.