The spine is the long column of vertebral bones and disc that protect the spinal cord and the many nerves that branch off from it and provide function and movement to nearly every area of the body. When a part of the spine becomes damaged, moved or worn down, it can affect these nerves and cause pain in the back, legs and arms, as well as serious complications and other conditions.
Spine surgery can relieve pain and correct injury to the nerves in the back when non-invasive methods are ineffective or inappropriate. Surgery may be performed to remove discs; to treat diseases and disorders such as Arnold Chiari-Malformation, syringomyelia and spinal stenosis; and to correct spinal fractures, injuries, cysts, tumors, herniated cords and other painful or harmful conditions.
Discectomy: Performed to correct a herniated disc, the most common cause of lower back pain. The soft material in the disc is removed to restore proper shape and relieve pressure on the nerve.
Laminectomy and Laminotomy: Removal of the lamina (small bony plate on each vertebra) to relieve pressure on the nerve that causes back pain in patients suffering from stenosis.
Spinal Fusion: Bone is grafted onto the spine that grows and heals to provide strength and stabilization following injury or disease.
Recent advances in medical technology have made possible minimally invasive spinal surgery, in which the entire procedure is performed through small incisions with the aid of an endoscope (a thin instrument with a tiny camera on the tip). Minimally invasive surgery offers a number of benefits over traditional surgery, including less post-operative discomfort, smaller scars and a shorter recovery time. This type of surgery is not appropriate for all conditions, but may be performed to treat scoliosis and herniated discs and to aid in spinal fusion.