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Spinal surgery covers a wide range of surgeries to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, slipped spinal disc and spinal trauma.
The spine is the body’s central support system and provides many functions including protecting many of the body’s organs and allowing movement. The spinal cord that runs through the spine is made of a vast number of nerves and is the communication pathway between the body and the brain. Damage to the spine can cause problems to this communication network leading to back, arm, and leg pain and disruptions to movement. Damage to the spine can happen from various conditions such as:
- Osteoarthritis in the spine
- Slipped/ herniated spinal disc
- Spinal cord cancer
- Overgrowth of bone
When considering surgical treatment for a spinal condition, it’s important to be aware that different treatments may be combined to treat the patient’s specific condition. It requires a surgical assessment to have a tailored treatment plan for the individual patient.
Chronic and acute spinal pain
Spinal pain can sometimes be difficult to diagnose as the pain can be experienced differently depending on the region of the spine affected. Back pain is common as well as pain radiating from the arms and legs. Spinal scans can detect where the source of pain is and a spinal surgeon will be able to recommend a treatment plan, be it surgical or non-surgical.
Slipped spinal disc surgery
This surgery, also known as spinal herniation surgery or discectomy can differ depending on how severe the disc has herniated. The bulging of the disc pushes on nerves from the spine and causes pain in the back or further down the nerve. A slipped disc is often the cause of sciatica for many patients. Surgery can involve removing part of the disc, replacing it with a prosthetic disc or fusing the spine.
This surgery involves fusing vertebrae bones (individual spinal bones) together. The vertebrae are reshaped and a graft is placed between the two bones to help them fuse together into their new position. This is common for treating deformities of the spine, such as scoliosis or kyphosis and may be used in conjunction with additional surgical techniques to treat other conditions to bring added stability to the spine.
This is typically a combination of different surgeries to release pressure on spinal nerves. This pressure can often be caused by incorrect bone formation from conditions such as osteoarthritis. To relieve the pressure, parts of the bone can be removed, including a particular surgery called a laminectomy which involves the removal of part of the vertebrae called the lamina.