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Spine/ Back and Neck Surgery

Back surgery helps relieve some causes of back and neck pain, but it’s rarely necessary. Most back pain resolves on its own within three months.

Your MMG Neurosurgeon may recommend back or neck surgery if more conservative treatments do not help and you have:

  • Spinal stenosis compressing the spinal nerves
  • A herniated spinal disk
  • Neck and back pain which causes pain or numbness that goes down one or both arms or legs
  • Spondylolysis (a defect)
  • Spinal deformities (like scoliosis)
  • Spinal instability
  • Removal of a tumor in the spine
  • Pinched nerve

Different types of back and neck surgery include:

  • Discectomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Fusion
  • Artificial disks
  • Laminotomy
  • Foraminotomy

Spinal fractures

When a vertebra is fractured, bone fragments may pinch and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Most spinal fractures occur from injuries. The results can affect you mildly or cause debilitating spinal cord damage. Often fractures heal without invasive treatment. Severe fractures, however, may need surgery to realign the bones.

Epidural Steroid Injections

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is the delivery of powerful anti-inflammatory medicine directly into the space outside of the sac of fluid around your spinal cord. This area is called the epidural space.Your doctor may recommend ESI if you have pain that spreads from the lower spine to the hips or down the leg. This pain is caused by pressure on a nerve as it leaves the spine, most often due to a bulging disk. ESI is used only when your pain has not improved with medicines, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical treatments.

Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

When back surgery is needed, your MMG Neurosurgeon will perform Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery if possible. We are proud to offer minimally invasive surgical methods at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Not all hospitals are equipped for Minimally Invasive Surgery. This type of surgery uses smaller incisions and often causes less harm to nearby tissues and muscles. The goals of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery are less pain and faster recovery. Some of the types of surgeries your MMG Neurosurgeon may perform using minimally invasive methods include laminectomy, lumbar discectomy and spinal fusion.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure your MMG Neurosurgeon may use to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck. To reach and remove the disc, your surgeon makes an incision in the throat area. He or she then inserts a graft to fuse together the bones above and below the disc. Your surgeon may recommend ACDF surgery if medications or physical therapy fail to relieve your arm or neck pain caused by pinched nerves.

Cervical laminectomy

Your MMG Neurosurgeon may recommend a cervical laminectomy if you have cervical spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the cervical spinal canal. The cervical spine is the area of the vertebral column commonly known as the neck. Stenosis may be caused by a number of degenerative spine conditions, including wear and tear on the discs, bones and ligaments. A narrow spinal canal compresses the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Compression may irritate a spinal nerve or nerves, causing radiculopathy. *link

Laminectomy is a surgical procedure in which your MMG Neurosurgeon will remove the lamina. The lamina is the back part of a vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal and relieves pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.

Artificial Cervical Disc/Arthroplasty

Everyday wear and tear, genetics and age can lead to disc damage and degeneration or herniation. Disc degeneration or herniation may cause pain, weakness, and numbness that spreads to the arms and shoulders. Artificial cervical disc replacement, or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace a damaged spinal disc with an artificial disc. An artificial disc supports the vertebrae while still allowing normal movements.

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Laminectomy

The thoracic spine is the longest region of the spine. It runs from the base of the neck down to the abdomen. During a thoracic laminectomy, the lamina is removed. The lamina is a part of the spine that creates a “roof” over the spinal canal. This is a common procedure which gives your MMG Neurosurgeon access to the spinal canal and relieves pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Whenever possible, your MMG Neurosurgeon will perform minimally invasive surgical procedures. A minimally invasive thoracic laminectomy uses a smaller incision than what is required for the more invasive, open form of the procedure. Minimally invasive procedures often have easier and faster recovery times.

Lumbar Laminectomy

The lumbar spine is the lower region of the back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen. A lumbar laminectomy is a surgery to remove the lamina, the part of the bone that makes up a vertebra in the lumbar spine. Your MMG Neurosurgeon may also use laminectomy to remove bone spurs or a herniated (slipped) disk in your spine. Lastly, the procedure can remove pressure from your spinal nerves or spinal cord.

Lumbar Microdiscectomy

Lumbar microdiscectomy is a procedure to remove all or part of the cushion that helps support part of your spinal column (disks). During surgery, your MMG Neurosurgeon removes herniated disc material that is pressing on a spinal cord or nerve root. Only some patients with a herniated disk need surgery.

Your doctor may recommend a microdiscectomy if you have a herniated disk and:

  • Severe weakness in muscles of your arm, lower leg or buttocks
  • Leg or arm pain or numbness that makes it hard to do daily tasks
  • Pain that spreads into your buttocks or legs
  • You are having problems with your bowels or bladder

Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar Fusion is a procedure that joins together two or more bones in the spine, removing the movement between them. This procedure is usually performed along with other surgical procedures of the spine. Your MMG Neurosurgeon will recommend a Spinal Fusion to restore stability to the spine or eliminate painful motion.

Lumbar Instrumentation

Lumbar instrumentation occurs when a spinal surgery includes implants such as plates, rods, screws, cages, interbody devices, and hooks. Instrumentation immediately stabilizes the spine after surgery, adds strength, and helps to maintain proper alignment while fusion occurs. Some patients may need a brace after surgery to provide added support while healing.