Spine surgery is one of the specialties shared between the area of neurosurgery and orthopedics, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the spine.
Currently, spine surgery has a wide range of surgical procedures focused on providing the patient with greater safety and effectiveness.
Throughout life, many people have back pain as a result of a disease in the spine, for which it is necessary to know the different procedures designed to solve these conditions.
Common spine surgeries
Radiofrequency or laser medial branch ablation
Procedures that are performed in a hemodynamics room (X-Rays) when the main symptom is pain and there is no weakness. A needle is inserted around the affected joint where the nerve’s medial branch is located, to eliminate the sensitivity of this area and provide lasting pain relief.
If necessary, this procedure can be repeated or switched to a more permanent strategy.
A state-of-the-art technique used when there is severe scoliosis or in cases where the patient has received multiple surgeries without obtaining the expected result concerning spine stability.
During this procedure, a vertebra is completely removed without affecting the neurological structures. It is usually divided into two surgeries, one to perform an anterior vertebral body removal and another for a posterior bone structure removal, although, in some cases, there are advanced techniques for a single posterior removal.
Intervertebral disc biopsy
Aimed at obtaining a tissue sample for diagnostic purposes, such as infections or tumors.
Root, epidural, or facet block (Algology interventional procedures)
Applied in a hemodynamics room (X-Rays), it is performed when the main symptom is pain and there is no weakness, inserting a needle around the affected nerve, the joint, or near the dural sac that surrounds the nerve roots to directly place anesthetic in the affected area.
This will provide temporary relief, while the diagnosis is completed or when the patient chooses a more decisive strategy, such as surgery.
Tumor separation surgery
It is a radiation therapy assistance procedure, where a part of the tumor is removed to separate it from the neurological structures so that a more effective radiation scheme can be implemented later without jeopardizing the safety of neurological structures such as the spinal cord.
Protecting the bone marrow while treating the oncological pathology.
A complex technique where a vertebra must be removed, to achieve a broader decompression, a further segment realignment, or to place a specific prosthesis.
This procedure is performed less frequently, although for some diseases, such as cervical spondylotic myelopathy, is the best therapeutic option.
Scoliosis surgery should be strictly used only when indicated, as it is very demanding for the surgeon and the patient. The procedure includes realigning the spine using a variety of techniques and reinforcing it with screws and bars, which will maintain the new alignment.
Posterior neurological decompression (cervical, thoracic, or lumbar)
It is performed when the neurological structures are compromised or pressured, regardless of whether it is due to trauma, occupational injury, joint wear, or bulging discs.
The procedure involves removing bone at the back of the vertebra to provide space for the neurological structures. Although it is fast and effective, it is not without complications, so the best decision will always depend on the treating surgeon.
This procedure will be performed if the main problem is prolapse, degeneration, or extrusion of a piece of an intervertebral disc. It consists of removing the affected disc fragment thus decompressing the affected neurological structure.
This procedure is highly effective but has a risk of hernia recurrence.
Interbody lumbar fusion with instrumentation and prosthetic material (posterior, anterior, lateral, or combined approach)
A procedure performed when the mobility of a vertebral segment is seriously affected and it is required to leave the spine fixed in that section. This procedure causes a noticeable movement restriction. This procedure has been proven to be the most effective over the years, which is why in many cases it is the best treatment option.
Anterior cervical instrumentation with discectomy and fusion
It focuses on the removal of the affected intervertebral discs, and the placement of a polycarbonate or titanium intervertebral prosthesis; this is placed with a bone graft together with a titanium plate and screws to create bone between both vertebrae.
Being a procedure that is performed for cervical spine problems such as herniated discs or cervical spondylotic myelopathy, among others.
Intervertebral disc prosthesis (lumbar or cervical)
It is one of the newest procedures in spine surgery. Its purpose is to replace the intervertebral disc, being ideal for young people whose spine shows little evidence of chronic wear.
It includes a variety of surgical techniques that are used together to improve the symptoms of a tumor or to cure it surgically. If it is malignant, a multidisciplinary team should be formed with a medical or surgical oncologist to determine complementary treatments.
All these procedures can be performed at ABC Medical Center. You should see a neurosurgeon or orthopedist when suffering from any spine condition to find the best solution.
At ABC Medical Center, we have state-of-the-art technology that allows us to solve, through minimally invasive techniques, pathologies that include deformities, tumors, fractures, degenerative diseases such as herniated intervertebral discs and spinal stenosis in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, as well as in the craniocervical and lumbopelvic junctions. Learn more about our Neurology Center.
At ABC Medical Center’s Neurology Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!
Dr. José Alberto Israel Romero Rangel – Neurosurgery specialist at ABC Medical Center.