Neck (cervical) and back (lumbar) pain are problems for many people. Both may be caused by degeneration of the discs that separate the vertebrae of the spine and can be the result of a disease, such as arthritis, but may also be caused by an injury, such as a herniated disk.
Orthopedic specialists on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen can address these problems in a number of ways, including minimally invasive techniques. Treatment options include:
Minimally Invasive Back Surgery Relieves Debilitating Pain
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Minimally invasive surgery: Neck and back surgeries performed with new instruments and techniques that require smaller incisions, resulting in less tissue disruption, less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times compared to traditional open surgery.
Microendoscopic discectomy: A minimally invasive surgical technique used to remove a herniated disc in the cervical or lumbar spine; a ruptured disc can press on nerves and cause symptoms such as extremity pain, numbness, weakness, electrical sensations, and bowel and bladder incontinence; microendoscopic discectomy differs from open microdiscectomy by using a smaller incision (approximately 1 cm); the procedure usually takes about one hour, and the patient is often able to return home on the same day.
Total disk replacement: Surgery that treats painful degenerative disc disease of the cervical and lumbar spine; this approach is designed to preserve motion of the disk space while reducing or eliminating pain; possible candidates for this procedure must have undergone at least six months of unsuccessful conservative care and meet other criteria.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: An operation performed on the upper spine to relieve pain and other symptoms in the neck, arms, and legs caused by pressure on the spinal cord or other nerves; in this operation, the surgeon reaches the cervical spine through a small incision in the front of the neck; the damaged disc is removed and a bone graft is placed between the two vertebrae; over time, this bone graft will create a fusion between the vertebrae so that pain-causing motion is eliminated; usually a small cervical plate is used to stabilize the spine immediately after surgery and decrease the chance that the bone graft might be dislodged.
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF): An operation performed on the spine through an incision in the abdomen; a portion of the affected disc space is removed and replaced with an implant and bone graft; in some patients, surgeons can use Bone Morphogenetic Proteins as bone graft material instead of bone taken from another part of the patient's body; this shortens operative time and eliminates pain associated with harvesting healthy bone for the graft; titanium or stainless steel screws and rods also may be inserted into the back of the spine to supplement the stability of the entire structure.
Minimally invasive posterior lumbar fusion: An operation performed on the spine from the back through 1-inch (25mm) incisions; utilizing minimally invasive techniques, a surgeon removes a portion of the affected disc space from the spine and replaces it with an implant and bone graft; for some patients, surgeons use Bone Morphogenetic Proteins so healthy bone does not have to be harvested; metal hardware provides added stability; this procedure is for patients suffering from back and/or leg pain, especially those who have had previous abdominal surgery.
Posterior fumbar fusion: Sometimes called posterolateral spinal fusion, this open surgery treats a disc space that has degenerated to the point that movement causes back and/or leg pain; it is performed through an incision made in the back and entails inserting a bone graft into the affected space; titanium or stainless steel screws and rods also may be inserted into the back of the spine for added stability; if fusion is successful, motion between the vertebrae stops and pain is relieved.