Types of Back Surgery Explained
Back pain is a common ailment that makes people visit their physicians. Most cases of back pain are not severe and improve with simple remedies like over-the-counter medication. However, sometimes the pain can persist for more than three months, affecting your quality of life. You may discuss Dayton back surgery with your physician if you have ongoing pain despite trying out conservative treatments like medication, physical therapy, and steroid injections. Below are the different types of back surgery.
Laminectomy or decompression surgery is a procedure that enlarges your spinal canal, relieving pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. During the procedure, your surgeon removes the back of the vertebra that covers your spinal canal (lamina). Bony overgrowths usually cause pressure on the spinal canal’s nerve roots or spinal cord. These overgrowths of bone spurs form are a normal side effect of aging for some people. Laminectomy requires general anesthesia so that you will be unconscious throughout the procedure; the surgical team monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.
Most patients report measurable improvement after the procedure, mainly decreased sciatic pain. However, the pain may return over time if you have an aggressive form of arthritis.
Diskectomy is surgery to remove the herniated portion of a disc in your cervical or lumbar regions of the spine. Most people with a herniated disk have no symptoms, but if the disc presses on nerves, you will have pain that radiates down your arms or legs. During the procedure, you will receive general anesthesia, so you will have no memory of what transpired. Once the anesthesia takes effect, your surgeon makes an incision and removes small portions of spinal bone and ligament to access the herniated disc. The surgeon will remove the disc fragment pressing on nerves, leaving most of the disk intact. Diskectomy benefits patients with apparent symptoms of nerve compression, such as radiating pain. However, this procedure is not a permanent cure because the disc can still herniate in the future.
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently joins two or several vertebrae, eliminating movement. Your surgeon may recommend spinal stenosis to correct spinal deformities like scoliosis or improve spine stability. Spinal fusion is also effective for spinal stabilization after removing a herniated disc. During the procedure, the surgeon places bone between the two vertebrae and uses hardware like metal plates, rods, and screws to hold the vertebrae together. Over time, the bones heal into one solid unit, eliminating painful motion.
Before agreeing to back surgery, consider getting a second opinion from a spine specialist to ensure that the procedure will benefit you. Spine specialists may have different views on when to operate and the type of surgery to perform. Some spinal conditions do not warrant surgery; a spine specialist will help determine if your problem requires an operation.
Besides a reduction in pain, back surgery improves your productivity. You may find that you are in a better mood, movement is no longer challenging, and you are more physically fit.
If you have chronic back pain, consult your doctor at Vertrae® to establish if back surgery is an option.