If you have a condition or injury affecting your spine and have found that nonsurgical treatments have provided little or no relief, then surgery may be an option worth considering. With advances in medical technology, many surgeries for the spine can now be carried out in a minimally invasive manner, making surgery much safer and with less recovery time than even just a few years ago. Three of the most common reasons for spine surgery are stabilization, relief of pressure on the nerves, and realignment, each of which is explained, below.
Surgery to Stabilize the Spine
A healthy spine provides structure and support for the body. Should the spine become unstable as a result of an injury such as a fracture or from a degenerative condition like osteoporosis, the spine can no longer support the surrounding ligaments, muscles, discs and bones. When this happens, expect a significant amount of pain in the back and legs, which can interfere with carrying out even the simplest task.
Procedures such as lumber or cervical fusion surgery are designed to treat back, leg and/or neck pain that occurs as a result of degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, stenosis, or other conditions. These procedures primarily involve joining vertebrae together to strengthen and stabilize the damaged or degenerated segment of the spine.
Surgery to Take Pressure Off of Nerves
Some spinal conditions can cause nerve compression within the spine, leading to significant pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of mobility. Spine decompression surgeries such as a discectomy and laminectomy can relieve these and other symptoms that are caused by pinched nerves as a result of herniated discs, spinal stenosis, facet joint arthritis, tumors or other conditions. The procedure involves the surgeon removing a small portion of the bone above and/or below the nerve root, which relieves pressure on the nerve.
Surgery to Realign the Spine
Spinal deformities such as scoliosis affect the natural curvature of the spine and can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, resulting in significant pain. When left untreated, a severe curvature can make breathing difficult and can get worse with time, and can lead to arthritis and other conditions. In such cases or when other treatments have failed to achieve desired outcomes, surgery may be warranted. Spinal fusion surgery is used to correct curvatures in the spine by fusing vertebrae together with surgical hardware, such as rods and screws. Temporarily, a back brace may be worn while the spine heals. In some cases, additional surgeries may be necessary over time.
Spine Surgery as an Option in Greater Cleveland
If you have a spinal condition that is causing you pain or detracting from your quality of life, it may be time to discuss surgical options with your orthopedist. At Orthopaedic Associates, our board-certified/eligible, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and physicians are trained in spine care, as well as all other orthopedic conditions that affect you and your family. We provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment using non-operative approaches as well as surgical options. With offices in Westlake and Avon, Orthopaedic Associates is ready to see you. For an appointment or for more information on the services we provide, call 440-892-1440 or request an appointment online today.