Types of Spine Surgery
Spine surgery is rarely an initial treatment for back pain, however, there are a few emergencies that may require surgical treatment. In the vast majority of patients, spine surgery is only considered after a long course of conservative therapy.
Spine Surgery Options
A discectomy is a procedure to remove a portion of the disc that rests between each vertebrae. A herniated disc is the most common reason for spine surgery. In this type of spine surgery, the herniated disc is removed and relieve the pressure on the nerves.
A foramenotomy is also a procedure used to relieve pressure on a nerve, but in this case, the nerve is being pinched by more than just herniated disc. A foramenotomy removes a portion of bone and other tissue that may be compressing the nerve as it exits the spinal column.
A laminectomy is done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord itself. A laminectomy is most commonly used to treat conditions such as spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Depending on the amount of bone removed, this procedure may be done with a spinal fusion to prevent instability.
A spine fusion is surgery that is done to eliminate motion between adjacent vertebrae. The spine fusion may be done because to treat a problem such as spondylolisthesis (unstable spine), or it may be done because of the extent of other surgery (such as a laminectomy).
Spinal disc replacement is a new surgery that is still quite uncommon. Spine disc replacement is done to treat specific types of back pain, while avoiding the problems associated with spine fusion surgery.