Treatments For Spine and Neck Problems.

woman with back pain back to mind
woman with neck pain back to mind

Neck

The spinal column and spinal cord start at the neck. The neck is made up of 7 cervical vertebrae. Some conditions that can affect the neck include neck spasm, whiplash, herniated disc, and muscle sprain. Symptoms of these conditions could include pain, muscle tightness and spasms, decreased range of motion, and headaches. Common causes of neck pain include poor posture or arthritis. Treatment can range from physical therapy to injections or surgery.

Treatment Options:

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF), also known as Anterior Cervical Decompression, is a type of neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc and fusing two vertebral segments together. This stops motion at this segment. This procedure relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates corresponding symptoms like pain. In this procedure, the damaged disc is removed from between two vertebral bones through the anterior, or front, of the neck. ACDF is commonly used to treat a Cervical Herniated Disc but may also be used for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease, Bone Spurs, and Cervical Spinal Stenosis. Typically, patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure and recovery ranges from 4 – 6 weeks.

Cervical Disc Replacement is a type of neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc. This procedure relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates corresponding pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. In this procedure, the damaged disc is removed from between two vertebral bones and then replaced with a prosthetic. Unlike ACDF, a neck surgery involving fusion, the patient doesn’t need to wear a neck brace post-procedure until fusion is evidenced on x-ray. This procedure also helps maintain a better range of motion. Typically, patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure and recovery ranges from 4 – 6 weeks.

Microdiscectomy

Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is a type of surgery that involves removing a small part of bone and/or disc material from the spine. This procedure relieves nerve root pressure and alleviates other corresponding symptoms like pain. A microdiscectomy is usually more effective at relieving pain in the leg than in the lower back. The minimally invasive nature of this procedure allows for a more rapid recovery period. Typically, patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure. Within 1 – 2 weeks the patient may be able to return to light work and within 4 – 6 weeks may be able to return to heavy work and sports.

Laminectomy

The lamina is the back part of each vertebra which forms the back wall of the spinal canal. A laminectomy removes most or all of the lamina. This procedure relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates corresponding symptoms like pain. There are several different types of laminectomy, depending on which part of the spine is being operated on. These include Cervical laminectomy, Lumbar laminectomy, Sacral laminectomy, and Thoracic laminectomy. Typically, patients may leave the hospital the same day as the procedure, unless they are having both a laminectomy and spinal fusion. Recovery may take 4 – 6 weeks.

Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar Fusion is a type of spine surgery that involves removing a damaged disc and fusing two vertebral segments together. This stops motion at this segment. A Lumbar Fusion relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates corresponding symptoms like pain. Typically, patients remain in the hospital for a few days after surgery. Recovery may take 4 – 6 weeks to return to sedentary work, but 3 months or more to return to more physical activity.

SI Joint Fusion

The sacroiliac joint joins the iliac bones with the sacrum. This joint is integral for shock absorption to protect the spine. Because of this, the SI joint is often a cause of lower back pain. SI joint fusion involves using implanted screws or rods to fuse this joint. Typically, patients may remain in the hospital for 1 or 2 days after surgery. Recovery may take 3 – 6 months and could include physical therapy and a pelvic brace to stabilize the pelvis and limit painful movement.

Lumbar Disc Replacement

Lumbar Disc Replacement is a type of spine surgery that involves replacing a worn or damaged disc in the lower part of the spine with a prosthetic. This procedure relieves nerve root pressure and alleviates other corresponding symptoms like pain. Typically, patients remain in the hospital for a few days after surgery. Recovery may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Spinal Cord Stimulator

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that relieves pain by sending low levels of electricity into the spinal cord. Use of this method of pain relief requires 2 procedures: one to test a temporary device in order to evaluate the effectiveness of it and another to permanently implant the device. Typically, patients are able to leave the hospital the same day as their procedure. Recovery may include a recommended lighter activity level for 2 weeks following surgery.

Laminotomy

The lamina is the bony back part of the spinal canal. A laminotomy removes only part of the lamina. This procedure relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates corresponding symptoms like pain. There are several different types of laminotomy, depending on which part of the spine is being operated on. These include Cervical laminotomy, Lumbar laminotomy, Sacral laminotomy, and Thoracic laminotomy. Typically, patients may leave the hospital the same day as the procedure, unless they are having both a laminotomy and spinal fusion. Recovery may take 4 – 6 weeks.

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a type of surgery that is often performed with a vertebroplasty to treat recent fractures in the vertebra. These procedures are both minimally invasive, not even requiring stitches. Kyphoplasty involves inserting and inflating a balloon to create room for the vertebroplasty. A vertebroplasty involves injecting a cement mixture into the bone. Typically, patients may leave the hospital the same day as the procedure, unless the procedure involves more than one vertebra.

Tumor Removal

A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). Benign tumors do not spread throughout the body, making surgical removal a viable treatment. Malignant tumors should be treated through surgery or other methods in order to prevent their spread. Further treatment and recovery depend on the type of tumor, its location and size.

Epidural Injection

An epidural injection is an injection that goes into the membrane that protects the spinal cord, or “epidural space”, in order to relieve pain. This procedure is commonly used to relieve pain in the lower back and legs. This injection is typically made of a steroid, lidocaine and saline that work together to reduce inflammation and act as a local anesthetic for temporary pain relief. Epidural injections are used to treat conditions like lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, compression fractures, and more. Patients are able to leave the same day as the procedure and may return to normal activity levels the following day.

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