Spinal surgery is a common procedure that can be done to relieve pain in the back or neck. If you have been experiencing neck or back pain, and your doctor has told you that you need surgery to correct the issue, there are many options available. This can make you wonder what kind of surgery you need. To determine the right surgical approach, your surgeon will first need to know what is causing your pain. In this blog post we will discuss the top 6 types of spinal surgery so you know which procedure is right for you.
Microdiscectomy is a surgery that is used to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This procedure is typically done when portions of the spinal disc are bulging out and pressing on a nearby nerve. When this happens, it is known as a herniated disc. During a microdiscectomy, your surgeon will remove the portion of the disc that is causing the pressure. This minimally invasive surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis, and most people are able to go home the same day. Microdiscectomy has a high success rate and is the most common spinal surgery.
A laminectomy is a procedure that is used to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or tumors. This surgery is also used to remove bone spurs that are causing nerve compression. During a laminectomy, your surgeon will remove the laminae- the bony plates that make up the back of the vertebrae. Doing so creates more space in the spinal canal, which decreases nerve compression. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis and typically requires a hospital stay of one or two nights.
A spinal fusion is a surgery that is used to join two or more bones in the spine together. This procedure is done to correct problems such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and instability. Spinal fusions can also be performed to treat spinal fractures, cancer, and intractable pain. During a spinal fusion, your surgeon will remove the affected discs and replace them with bone grafts. The grafts will then fuse together, creating a solid bone structure. This surgery is typically done on an inpatient basis and requires a hospital stay of several days.
A kyphoplasty is a procedure that is used to treat compression fractures in the spine. Compression fractures in the spine are commonly seen in people with osteoporosis. These fractures occur when the vertebrae collapse, and they can cause severe pain, loss of height, and deformity. Although compression fractures can be treated with non-surgical methods such as bracing and medications, certain cases may require surgical intervention. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that uses balloons to restore the height of the fractured vertebrae. First, the surgeon inflates a balloon in the vertebrae, then bone cement is injected into this space. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, and most people are able to go home the same day.
A disc replacement is a surgery that is used to replace a damaged or diseased spinal disc with an artificial one. This procedure is typically done when the discs between the vertebrae have worn out and are no longer providing cushioning or support. Disc replacements can also be performed to treat spinal compression or a pinched nerve. During a disc replacement, your surgeon will remove the affected discs and replace them with artificial ones that are designed to mimic natural spinal discs. Disc replacements are sometimes performed instead of spinal fusion because they preserve motion whereas spinal fusion prevents motion.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is the most common type of neck surgery. It is performed to relieve pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms that is caused by spinal stenosis or a pinched nerve in the neck. During an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery, your surgeon will remove the damaged disc that is putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, then replace it with a bone graft. To do this they must access the spine through the side of the front of your neck instead of from behind it.
There are six main types of spinal surgery: microdiscectomy, laminectomy, spinal fusion, kyphoplasty, disc replacement, and anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Each type of surgery is different, but they all involve removing part of the spine or repairing it in some way. To determine what type of spinal surgery is right for you, you will need to speak with a surgeon.