Cervical Treatments

Discectomy

Discectomy is the removal of the herniated portion of a disc to relieve the pressure on nearby nerves as they exit the spinal canal. The disc is a shock absorber between two bony vertebrae. An injury, damage from a lifting incident or a twist may cause the center of the disc to break through the wall of the disc. When a disc herniates, the soft disc center can press on nearby nerves.

Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy / Discectomy

For some herniated discs or bone spurs in the neck affecting only the nerve roots, a posterior discectomy and foraminotomy can be performed. This procedure avoids spinal fusion and, with a microscope or a minimally invasive technique, can minimize recovery time.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy

Just as in a lumbar discectomy, the surgeon will remove a piece of damaged disc tissue in the neck area to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. In some cases, by removing a piece of the shock-absorbing disc that separates the two vertebrae, the structures may become less stable. Consequently, when the disc is removed, a surgeon may recommend "fusing" the vertebrae to prevent instability.

Corpectomy

The goal of a corpectomy is complete decompression of the spinal canal when stenosis encompasses more than just disc space and has moved into vertebral bodies. A corpectomy involves a vertical incision in the neck. The middle portion of the vertebra and its adjacent discs are removed to achieve decompression of the cervical spinal cord and nerve roots. A fusion accompanies a corpectomy surgery, using bone harvested from the patient's hip or from a bone bank. This bone graft is used to reconstruct the spine and provide stability.

Anterior Cervical Fusion

A fusion accompanies an anterior cervical discectomy or corpectomy. During fusion surgery, a disc is removed, and the surgeon inserts a small wedge of bone between two vertebrae to restore disc space. Over time, the two vertebrae “fuse” together into a single solid structure. While this procedure limits movement and flexibility, it also helps relieve neck pain.

Laminoplasty

A laminoplasty, similar to a laminectomy, is often performed on patients suffering from spinal stenosis in the neck (narrowing of the cervical spinal canal). A laminoplasty creates more space for the spinal cord and roots. The actual procedure involves cutting a “hinge” into one side of the lamina and swinging it open like a door. It relieves pressure on the spinal cord by increasing the diameter of the spinal canal and room for the spinal cord. The surgery approach is through the back of the neck.

Lumbar/Low Back Treatments

Discectomy

Discectomy is the removal of the herniated portion of a disc to relieve the pressure on nearby nerves as they exit the spinal canal. The disc is a shock absorber between two bony vertebrae. An injury, damage from a lifting incident or a twist may cause the center of the disc to break through the wall of the disc. When a disc herniates, the soft disc center can press on nearby nerves.

Lumbar Discectomy

In a lumbar discectomy, the surgeon typically only removes the portion of the disc that is causing a problem, not the entire disc. If you have a herniated disc, keep in mind that a disc has a purpose. When you remove a disc, it may cause instability in the joint, and a surgeon may recommend a fusion to re-stabilize the area. The surgeon can remove the damaged piece of disc through a traditional incision in the back. However, at The Spine Center, the surgeons typically use a microscope to minimize incision size, tissue trauma and recovery time.

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

In this type of spinal fusion surgery, back muscles and nerves remain undisturbed. The space between discs is fused by approaching the spine through the abdomen. This procedure is used when the spine is relatively stable, when there's a significant amount of disc space collapse, and in cases of one or two level degenerative disc disease. The surgeon will approach the abdomen through an incision (minilaparotomy) or by using an endoscope.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

This spinal fusion surgery is very similar to the anterior lumbar interbody fusion, except the surgeon approaches the spine through the low back. This method is used when there is a greater amount of instability in the patient's spine. An advantage to this surgery is that it can also provide anterior fusion of the disc space without having a second incision.

Lumbar Laminectomy

A laminectomy involves the removal of part or all of the bone covering the spinal canal. The purpose of this procedure can be to free nerve roots, remove a tumor, bone spur or to perform certain types of fusion procedures. Removing the lamina (laminectomy) is much like removing the cover on a fuse box to access the wiring. By removing the lamina, the surgeon gains access to the disc area and frees more space for the nerves inside.

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal surgery procedure used to treat painful, progressive vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). A VCF is a fracture in the body of a vertebra that causes it to collapse. In turn, this causes the spinal column above it to develop an abnormal forward curve. VCFs may be caused by osteoporosis or by the spread of tumor to the vertebral body. Certain forms of cancer can also weaken bone and cause the same problems.

Disc Replacement

Artificial disc replacement has emerged as an effective treatment option for low back pain. Similar to hip or knee joint replacements, disc replacement substitutes a mechanical device for an intervertebral disc in the spine.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the vertebrae of the spine. The spine is stabilized by fusing together two or more vertebrae, using bone grafts and metal rods and screws. Spinal fusion eliminates motion between vertebral segments, which can be a significant source of pain in some patients. The surgery also stops the progress of spinal deformity, such as scoliosis.

Bone Grafting

Bone is the most commonly used material to help promote fusion of the vertebrae. Generally, small pieces of bone are placed into the space between the vertebrae to be fused. Sometimes larger solid pieces are used to provide immediate structural support. The bone is either supplied by the patient or harvested from other individuals.