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The Spine Center

Northwest Surgical Hospital’s spine surgeons provide comprehensive spine care using the latest techniques, including minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Complete Spine Care

Spine surgery involves the repair of degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, stenosis, trauma and tumors.  Procedures that can be performed include discectomy, laminectomy, spinal fusions tumor removal, kyphoplastyand total disc replacements.

Discectomy/Laminectomy

Discectomy is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord.  Before the disc material is removed, a small piece of bone (the lamina) from the affected vertebra may be removed.  This is called a laminotomy or laminectomy and allows the surgeon to better see and access the area of disc herniation.  During discectomy, the surgeon removes the portion of the disc that is herniated and protruding into the spinal canal.  The disc space may also be explored, and any loose fragments of disc can be removed.

Spinal Fusions

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae.  Spinal fusion is major surgery, usually lasting several hours.  In most spinal fusion surgeries, bone is taken from the pelvic bone or obtained from a bone bank.  The bone is used to make a bridge between adjacent vertebrae.  This bone graft stimulates the growth of new bone.  Metal implants are secured to the vertebrae to hold them together until new bone grows between them.

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) or Total Disc Replacement (TDR)

This is a type of arthroplasty.  It is a surgical procedure in which degenerated intervertebral discs in the spinal column are replaced with artificial ones in the lumbar (lower) or cervical (upper) spine.  The procedure is used to treat chronic, severe low back pain and cervical pain resulting from degenerative disc disease.  Artificial disc replacements procedures were developed with the goal of pain reduction or elimination while still allowing motion throughout the spine.

Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) or Total Disc Replacement (TDR)

This is a type of arthroplasty.  It is a surgical procedure in which degenerated intervertebral discs in the spinal column are replaced with artificial ones in the lumbar (lower) or cervical (upper) spine.  The procedure is used to treat chronic, severe low back pain and cervical pain resulting from degenerative disc disease.  Artificial disc replacements procedures were developed with the goal of pain reduction or elimination while still allowing motion throughout the spine.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a growing area of spine surgery for both fusion and simple decompression.  Like laparoscopy, minimally invasive spine surgery procedures accomplish the exact same goals as traditional open surgery, but through much smaller incisions, with much less tissue disruption.  That results in the same ultimate outcome, but with much less pain, and much faster recovery.  Both decompressions and fusions can be done with minimally invasive techniques, most often requiring less than 24 hours in the hospital.

Tumor

Tumors of the spine can occur anywhere from the skull base to the tailbone.  They can be in the spinal cord or nerves, or in the bone and supporting structures of the spine.  Treatment depends entirely on the type of tumor cell, and the location and extent of the tumor.  Options include complete tumor removal, or biopsy or debulking to take the pressure off of the spinal cord or nerves with subsequent chemotherapy and radiation.  Stabilization (fusion and instrumentation) may be necessary depending on how much destruction has been done by the tumor.

Trauma

Spine fractures can occur from high velocity accidents such as falls or car accidents, or from brittle bones (osteoporosis).  Spine fractures may or may not require surgical stabilization.  Complex, unstable fractures of the neck or back most often require instrumentation.  Stable fractures such as vertebral compression fractures usually do not require surgery, but a short outpatient procedure called a kyphoplasty most often relieves the pain immediately, significantly improving mobility, and lessening the need for pain medication.