Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery: Everything you need to know about spine surgical procedure


If you are struggling with back pain, then you might be thinking spine surgery is the only choice. Sometimes, surgery is the preferred choice. It is important to understand that back problems can also be treated with non-surgical treatment/conservative therapy. Let’s go through the spine surgery guide to make you understand about the different treatment options.

How computer-assisted technology is beneficial for back pain?

Through computer-assisted image technology, the surgeon can look at the operative site with ease, which is not possible with traditional visualization methods. Back pain is likely to trigger when the body mechanics are not proper, the spine has undergone a structural abnormality or injury. To treat chronic back pain, you must consult medical professionals right away. The doctor will inform you about everything on what type of lifestyle you need to live and what kind of physical activity which you need to do.

Non-surgical conservative treatment

Some of the non-operative treatment options suggested by the medical expert are:

    • Pain medications
    • Physical Therapy
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Bracing (should not be done before the surgery)

Generally, conservative treatment is suggested to the person for 6 weeks to 6 months. In case, non-conservative treatment did not help the patients then spine surgery is suggested.

Difference: Open Surgery Vs Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Open Surgery Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
    • Traditional spine surgery is known as open surgery
    • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) is a modern approach.
    • During surgery, a long incision is made on the surgical site to look at the spinal anatomy.
    • During the surgery, the incision is a few inches long. Even through this spine anatomy is checked carefully.
    • Under this approach, muscles might get manipulated and the surrounding tissues. Post-operative complications are higher.
    • Under this approach, the surrounding muscles are not manipulated and chances of complications are also less.
    • Hospital stay is longer with a traditional approach and recovery takes time.
    • Hospital stay is less with modern approach and recovery takes less time.

How imaging is helpful during spine surgery?

    • With the help of computer-assisted images, the surgeon can have a better view of the surgical site, which is not possible with traditional methods.
    • There is a greater degree of accuracy with modern surgical methods as compared to conventional methods.
    • The surgeon will make use of intraoperative fluoroscopy and preoperative computed tomography which increases the safety and makes the result precise.

What are the surgical methods?

Be it MISS or open surgery, the doctor can access the spine from different directions. In medical terms, these are known as surgical methods which include the following:

    • Anterior approach

With the anterior approach, the surgeon accesses the front part of the body from the abdominal area.

    • Posterior approach

With the posterior approach, the incision is made on the back.

    • Lateral approach

With the lateral approach, the spine area is reached from the side.

What are the common spine surgical methods?

Different conditions can increase the risk of spine surgery and some of the common procedures included with it are:

    • Discectomy or Microdiscectomy

With this approach, removal of a herniated intervertebral disc. Under this approach, pressure is taken from the compressed nerve. It is referred to as the MISS procedure.

    • Laminectomy

With laminectomy, the thin bony plate from the back is removed and space is increased in the spinal canal. This way the pressure is relieved.

    • Laminotomy

With laminotomy, the vertebral arch is removed which covers the spinal cord. Under this approach, the bone portion is removed less as compared to laminotomy.

Be it, laminectomy and laminotomy the tissue which compresses the spinal nerve is removed by the surgeon.

    • Foraminotomy

Tissue or bone removal comes in the way where the root comes off from the spinal cord and then reaches the spinal column.

    • Disc replacement

It is another option that is used instead of fusion and then an artificial one is kept in its place.

    • Spinal fusion

Surgical procedure which connects the vertebrae. Under this, the bone grafts are used which might have or not have instrumentation. Bone grafts are available in different types like donor’s bone or your bone is used. Fusion is done by the surgeon through the following methods:

    • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
    • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
    • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion indicates a surgical approach through the foramen.
    • Lateral Interbody Fusion in which the minimally invasive approach is from the side of the body.

Wrap up

If your spine pain is getting in excess, then you should schedule your consultation with our health experts. Depending on the problem you are having and understanding the cause of it, the treatment plan is customized.