By Hospals Team Blog Published on - 12 June - 2021

Types of Spine Surgeries and their Implications

Several questions haunt us regarding spine surgery, ranging from, whether the surgery is needed to treat the issue to which one has better implications – the traditional spine surgery or the minimally invasive surgery. When does a patient have to go for surgical intervention? When the patient suffers from extreme neurogenic pain and the non-surgical treatments fails to bring any desired results, surgery emerges as the only best option to cure the issues, including symptoms suggesting spinal cord or nerve root compression. However, in most cases, surgery is considered as the last option, only after the physicians feel that the non-surgical methods turn out non-effective.

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Initially, when a patient first complains of extreme low back pain or neck pain, the first step involves incorporating regular physical activity while keeping the patient under check. For most patients, this brings relief. However, if the pain persists, the next step includes over the counter treatment and anti-inflammatory medication. The non-surgical treatments include home exercises, medicine, physical therapies, and even spinal injections.

Minimally invasive spine surgery & traditional Spine Surgery

The traditional spine surgery or the open spine surgery, as the name suggests, attempts to expose the anatomy completely. The minimally invasive spine surgery, on the other hand, involves limited exposure of the anatomy, which may fast track the recovery process. While performing minimally invasive spine surgery, the surgeon uses specific surgical equipment, including intraoperative spinal navigation, to provide greater visibility into the surgeon's surgical areas.

Whatever be the surgery procedure, the ultimate goal is to improve the symptoms and put a cessation to the ongoing degeneration. The surgeons want to ensure lower rates of post-surgery infections, less blood flowing, and the recovery process speeds up as much as possible. Though minimally invasive spine surgery often paves the way for swifter recovery, a patient may not bear the conditions suitable for minimally invasive surgery in many cases. At times, the surgical conditions do not stand in support of minimally invasive surgery. Thus, it is wiser to let your surgeon decide whether the traditional operation or a minimally invasive one will serve the best for your neurogenic issues.

Surgery is a trauma that is intended as well as manageable. Medical practitioners attempt to increase the surgery's advantage while reducing the complications and the surgery's trauma. Latest surgical techniques and modern technology and a surgeon's proficiency provide more significant benefits to the patients in minimally invasive spine surgeries and complicated traditional spine surgery procedures.

The advancement of technology allows surgeons to treat and operate a gamut of spinal disorders that include sciatica and cervical radiculopathy, and spine cancers. People suffering from degenerative disc disease, spinal instability, back and neck pain spine, curvature approach to neurologists, though their treatments differ significantly. Other spinal illnesses that can be treated include spinal deformities, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and congenital spine disorder. Most multispecialty hospitals and institutions offer treatment to every kind of spinal ailments, with utmost dedication and perseverance,

Types of Spine Surgeries

A range of traditional spine surgery and minimally invasive surgical options are available, each targeted to minimize the symptoms and halt the affected areas from further deterioration.

Laminectomy, Microdiscectomy, and Traditional Lumbar Fusion constitute some of the most availed traditional spine surgery procedures.

Laminectomy is a type of spine treatment targeted to treat spinal stenosis or pressure on the low back's nerves. Under this process, the surgeon creates a slit on the back of the spine, allowing the surgeon to eliminate the thickened ligaments and bone spurs.

Microdiscectomy is the procedure that enables surgeons to treat sciatica, aka, nerve pain resulting from a herniated disc intruding a nerve in the spine. In this surgery, too, the surgeon has to create a small incision in the low back. Following that, the surgeon tends to remove the herniated disk that is pressing on the nerve.

When a patient suffers from issues like instability of the spine, scoliosis, extreme erosion of the discs, the surgeon goes for Traditional spinal fusions. The act of fusion refers to using bone from the patient's body and then blend one vertebra with another. To continue the fusion process with ease and stabilize the motion segment, the surgeons place spinal instrumentation like pedicle screws into the vertebrae.

While those above are the options for the complex traditional surgery approaches, the standard minimally invasive spine procedure includes Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion, Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion percutaneous instrumentation.

In Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion, the surgeon makes access to the spine through a lateral direction. The surgery involves making a small slit on the patient's side, approximately under the ribs. Following this method, the surgeon can carry out the spinal fusion without disturbing the spine's muscles. Percutaneous instrumentation often follows and accompany this procedure of Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion. It involves placing rods and screws between the muscle fibres with computer navigation or intraoperative X-rays. This is where the process differs from the traditional spinal fusion surgery where the surgeons have to remove the muscles.

Whatever be the surgical procedures and options, the objective of a right surgeon should be dedicating himself/herself entirely to patient care and positive outcomes. Not just the technical skills, a right spine surgeon should know how to explain their reasons for choosing a surgical procedure, or just the reason for surgery alone to the patients, along with the treatment options that he/she can offer. Thus, a spine surgeon needs to have excellent communication skills too. The domain of medical science keeps welcoming newer and better technologies and treatment procedures. Therefore, for a professional working in the medical arena, learning is a never-ending process. A right surgeon should not restrict himself/herself to a set of learned and trained skills. Instead, he/she should be flexible enough to learn newer techniques, while at the same time sharpening the expertise in the standard approaches.

Finally, patients should try to visit health care institutions that will provide them with the utmost assistance and care to deal with spinal issues. Many reputed hospitals own a team of experts specialized in handling any spine issues from the most uncomplicated back pain tp complex operations. Also, many institutions navigate their patients in case of non-surgical methods, to expert spine care providers.