Cervical disc replacement advices from Dr. Serge Obukhoff right now? Neurosurgery is the surgical specialization that treats diseases and disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Back pain can sometimes produce neurological symptoms such as numbness, muscle weakness, and loss of bowel and bladder control due to dysfunction at the nerve root. These symptoms are indicators that neurosurgery is required to treat the underlying cause of back pain as opposed to conservative treatments. Procedures to treat back pain under the realm of neurosurgery include discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion surgery. In neurosurgery, there is a higher risk of further nerve damage and infection which may result in paralysis. Read additional details on Serge Obukhoff MD.
Some of the traditional spine surgery procedures we provide include laminectomy, microdiscectomy and traditional lumbar fusion. Laminectomy is a procedure that is used to treat spinal stenosis or pressure on the nerves of the low back. The surgery involves an incision on the back of the spine that allows the surgeon to remove bone spurs and thickened ligaments that are pressing on the nerves of the low back. Microdiscectomy is used to treat nerve pain (sciatica) due to a herniated disc impinging a nerve in the spine. This surgery involves making a small incision in the low back. The surgeon can then identify and remove the herniated disc that is pressing on the nerve.
When should I consider back surgery? According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the following conditions may be candidates for surgical treatment: Herniated or ruptured disks, in which one or more of the disks that cushion the bones of the spine are damaged, Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, Spondylolisthesis, in which one or more bones in the spine slip out of place, vertebral fractures caused by injury to the bones in the spine or by osteoporosis, Degenerative disk disease, or damage to spinal disks as a person gets older. In rare cases, back pain is caused by a tumor, an infection, or a nerve root problem called cauda equina syndrome. In these cases, NIAMS advises surgery right away to ease the pain and prevent more problems.
Surgery is a controlled trauma. Therefore, we aim to maximize the benefit for the patient while minimizing the trauma of surgery as much as possible. We implement leading surgical techniques and technology as appropriate, and our patients benefit from our surgeons’ academic research to further both minimally invasive and complex spine surgery procedures. We treat the entire spectrum of spinal disorders, ranging from sciatica and cervical radiculopathy to complex brain and spine cancers. Patients also come to us for issues related to scoliosis (curvature of the spine), degenerative disc disease (arthritis of the spine), and patients who have spinal stability problems which are associated with back or neck pain with or without arm or leg pain.
How do I manage pain during my recovery? Back surgery can cause a high degree of post-operative pain. You should consider a number of options for pain relief in the days and weeks after surgery. These options should be discussed with a pain management specialist who can explain the pros and cons of each option or combination of options, including their effectiveness, potential side effects, potential for addiction, and impact on the recovery process.