Spine surgery is something that no one takes lightly because the entire balance of the body depends literally on our spines. Pains in the spinal region can be excruciating and it is never too soon to get relief from them. However, not all pains of the spine are the same. There are various causative factors for spinal pains and even methods to treat them differ. Here is a list of various factors that might necessitate a spine surgery and what procedures are used to treat them.
Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is an arthritic condition which is caused when the spine becomes narrow and puts pressure on the chord running through it. This kind of compression can occur at various points of the low, middle and upper spine. It is mostly caused due to advancing age which can make the spine compress naturally. Hernias and tumors can also cause the condition of spinal stenosis.
The symptoms of this condition are usually severe pains, loss of strength (numbness) and incontinence. It is necessary to treat this condition as soon as possible. Open surgical procedure was commonly used in previous times but has now been replaced by minimally invasive procedures such as the laser technique. These contemporary methods have also reduced the nursing and aftercare required with the treatment.
Surgery for Herniated Disks
Herniated disks occur when there is some kind of pressure being subjected on a nerve. Nerves can be 'pinched' within the spine due to ruptured disks. The pain will be generally quite severe in the area of the pinching and nonsurgical medicinal methods will not be able to treat the condition. This is when surgical methods are employed.
One of the commonest surgical methods that are employed in the treatment of herniated disks is known as laminectomy. In this procedure, thin layers of the pathology that causes the pressure on the nerve are sliced out until the pressure is no longer felt. Again, there are improved laser methods being used here which require no hospitalization and thus are quite cheap options.
Surgery for Spinal Deformity
Extreme spinal curvature can cause a condition of scoliosis or even humpback condition, known in medical terminology as kyphosis. Treatment of these methods is done by operating on the spine from the ventral (front) as well as the dorsal (back) surfaces. Earlier, these operations were quite invasive, but contemporary methods have minimized the invasion, making these more or less a cosmetic procedure.
Surgery for Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion is needed when the individual vertebra of the spine have become displaced or deformed. The fusion process technically allows these vertebrae to grow. This can be done both for removal of painful conditions of the spine and for cosmetic reasons. Since regeneration of vertebrae is a very gradual process, earlier techniques to achieve this caused severe pain to the patients. However, minimally intensive techniques such as laparoscopy (an endoscopic procedure) are used extensively nowadays. These methods reduce the pain and allow the patient to return to normal life sooner.