Types of Back Surgery

Back Surgery Information

Types of Back Surgery

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why a person seeks medical attention from a health care provider. This problem is often attributed to damages originating from the spine and spinal cord. It may either be acute or chronic in nature and the treatment regimens greatly vary depending on the severity and the extent of damage. Some of these conditions may require extensive rehabilitation and in some cases, it may require surgery. Surgery is usually performed when conservative approaches fail to alleviate the pain after a long period of time or if neurologic disabilities progress. There are several types of back surgery performed by medical doctors to improve one’s condition from a spine ailment depending on what part is involved. Here are some of the common surgical operations done to relieve or minimize the incidences of persistent back pain:

One of the conventional types of back surgery is discectomy. In this operative procedure, the disc in between the vertebrae of the spine is removed to relieve the pressure that presses the nerve roots against the bones of the spine. The pressure exerted on these nerve roots is the cause of the symptoms associated with the occurrence of a herniated disc and is commonly manifested as back pain. This surgical procedure is performed under a general anesthesia. A small, longitudinal incision is made by the surgeon about three centimeters in length to visualize the damaged disc.

Laminectomy, often done together with discectomy to aid in relieving unwanted pressures in between vertebrae, is the removal of the upper portion of the spinal vertebra called the lamina. Traditionally, surrounding muscles and ligaments around the affected lamina is also excised to provide maximum relief for the patient. Modern approaches to this operation involve minimal handling of the adjacent tissues.

Spinal fusion or medically termed as arthrodesis is one of the types of back surgery commonly performed after several repeated laminectomies are done to provide stability to the affected areas of the spine. This procedure is also used as the surgical treatment for people with spondylolisthesis. Grafting the spine using a donor bone, usually taken from the iliac crest, is operatively performed to strengthen the back by providing added stability.

Due to the advancements of medical technology nowadays, these types of back surgery have been improved and modified to offer more advantages and minimal risk to patients subjecting themselves to surgery. Alternative and minimally invasive operative procedures are being popularly considered these days due to their high rates of surgical success and lesser incidences of post-operative complications.

Percutaneous lumbar discectomy involves the use of a fluoroscope to visualize and operate through the affected areas of the spine with the use of an endoscope. A microdiscectomy offers lesser tissue trauma and pain due to the smaller incision made. Laser-assisted laparoscopic lumbar discectomy entails the use of a laparoscopic cannula to surgically treat herniated discs.

Choosing the best option from these types of back surgery must be discussed thoroughly with concerned health care providers so that optimal benefits can be achieved without taking unnecessary risks. The client must be aware and be oriented of the pre-operative preparations and post-operative outcomes of the surgery. Understanding facilitates cooperation that could result in faster recovery and less healthcare cost.

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