What is Orthopedic Spine Surgery?

What is Orthopedic Spine Surgery?

Orthopedic spine surgery is an operation that treats disorders of your spine. There are many types of surgeons who can operate on your spine, but this type of surgery is performed by an orthopedist. An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in conditions of the skeleton. Our surgeons who perform orthopedic spine surgery in Richardson TX
are trained to correct herniated or degenerated discs, sciatica, narrowing of the spinal column and injuries or traumas that affect your spine.

Some types of spine surgery include:

Laminectomy
Laminectomy repairs a narrowing of the spine, or stenosis. This narrowing causes pain when it puts pressure on the spinal nerves. During the surgery, the doctor removes a bone found at the back of the spinal canal called the lamina as well as any bone spurs. In a laminotomy/foraminotomy procedure, the doctor shaves off only part of the lamina to enlarge the opening.

Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
Both of these surgeries treat compression fractures in the vertebrae. These are fractures that often occur when the bone loses mass due to aging. They usually happen in the middle of your back. During these surgeries, the doctor injects a material that resembles cement into the vertebrae. In kyphoplasty, the doctor also inserts a tiny balloon into the vertebra and inflates it before they add the cement.

Spinal Fusion
In spinal fusion, the doctor fuses vertebrae together by adding a bone graft and securing it with pins, rods or cages. The fusion itself is immobile, but it relieves the pain that the patient used to feel when they performed certain motions such as bending or lifting. Spinal fusion is also used to treat a vertebral injury, after the removal of infections or tumors, to stop spinal deformities from worsening and to stabilize the spine.

Facetectomy
Your facet joint is the part of your vertebra that is flexible and allows you to bend and twist. Surgery may be required when one of these joints becomes too large or starts to grow bone spurs, which can put pressure on the nerves. In this surgery, the doctor takes away a bit of the facet joint. They can’t remove the entire joint because it is necessary to keep your spine stable.

Discectomy
In a discectomy, the doctor removes part of the spongy disc that cushions the space between vertebrae. In this case, the disc has herniated or bulged out from between the vertebrae. This may cause it to press on a nerve and cause pain. The surgeon can remove the disc trough disc microsurgery or percutaneously. In the latter, the surgeon uses a suction cannula or a laser to take out part of the disc. In microsurgery, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the back and takes out part of the disc while guided by a special microscope.

Surgery is an option if no other modalities have worked to ease your back pain, including steroid injections, painkilling medications or physical therapy. The good news is advances in orthopedic spine surgery in Richardson TX have made surgery less painful and risky and easier and quicker to recover from than ever.

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