Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery

What is Spine?

The spine is made of 33 individual bones stacked one on top of the other. This spinal column provides the main support for your body, allowing you to stand upright, bend, and twist, while protecting the spinal cord from injury. Strong muscles and bones, flexible tendons and ligaments, and sensitive nerves contribute to a healthy spine. Yet, any of these structures affected by strain, injury, or disease can cause pain.

What are the types of spinal injuries?

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by trauma to the spinal column (stretching, bruising, applying pressure, severing, laceration, etc.). The vertebral bones or intervertebral disks can shatter, causing the spinal cord to be punctured by a sharp fragment of bone. Usually, victims of spinal cord injuries will suffer loss of feeling in certain parts of their body. In milder cases, a victim might only suffer loss of hand or foot function. More severe injuries may result in paraplegia, tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia), or full body paralysis below the site of injury to the spinal cord.

Damage to upper motor neuron axons in the spinal cord results in a characteristic pattern of ipsilateral deficits. These include hyperreflexia, hypertonia and muscle weakness. Lower motor neuronal damage results in its own characteristic pattern of deficits. Rather than an entire side of deficits, there is a pattern relating to the myotome affected by the damage. Additionally, lower motor neurons are characterized by muscle weakness, hypotonia, hyporeflexia and muscle atrophy.

Spinal shock and neurogenic shock can occur from a spinal injury. Spinal shock is usually temporary, lasting only for 24–48 hours, and is a temporary absence of sensory and motor functions. Neurogenic shock lasts for weeks and can lead to a loss of muscle tone due to disuse of the muscles below the injured site.

What are the types of surgeries?

There are different kinds of spinal surgeries that the doctors may recommend after thoroughly assessing your health condition. Some of the most common types of spine surgery are listed below:

Foraminotomy

This of the most widely recommended type of spine surgery for spinal conditions caused by spondylolisthesis and stenosis. The surgery involves removing parts of the back bone, to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. The surgery is usually performed in combination with spine fusion surgery when instability of spine is suspected.

Spinal disc replacement

Although this surgical procedure is not very common, it is applied as one of the new surgical treatments for back pain. An artificial disc is used to replace the damaged spinal disc, which is present between the vertebrae. This surgery permits continued spine mobility and can be done without spine fusion.

Spine Fusion

This surgery involves joining two vertebrae together to increase spine stability. This results in restricted movements and limits stretching of nerves.

Discectomy

It is a type of spine surgery that is used to treat the herniated disc in the vertebrae. A disc separates two vertebrae and if it herniates inwards it presses on the spinal nerves causing pain. In discectomy all or part of the disc is removed.