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Spine Surgery – Is it the only way out ?

If you are suffering from back pain for a long time, you might be wondering that spine surgery is probably the last treatment option. Well, that’s not true. Surgery is not always the last treatment option. There are plenty of back issues that you can treat with non-surgical treatment methods provided you visit the. These treatment methods are referred to as non-surgical or conservative therapies.

Here Dr Gurneet Sawhney discuss how spine issues arise, the complications associated with them, and how spine surgery helps eliminate the spine’s problems. Dr Gurneet Sawhney is one of the best neurosurgeon in Mumbai,India.

Back Pain Issues

Improper body mechanics, aging, trauma, and structural abnormalities play a vital role in injuring your spine, which leads to back pain and other complications such as numbness, leg pain, and leg weakness. A team of health professionals reviews this chronic back pain.

A team of health professionals will carefully examine your condition and suggest subsequent treatment. Get opinions from several spine specialists before resigning yourself to surgery. Investing time to gather more information regarding the treatment process will improve the treatment process and support a healthy lifestyle.

Non-Surgical Treatment Methods

As mentioned earlier, surgery is the last option to eliminate back pain issues. Before going for surgical treatment methods, you must try several non-surgical options. These non-surgical or non-operative treatment methods are less harmful and often come up with a higher success rate.

Non-surgical methods include physical therapy and using pain medications. The recommended trial period for these non-surgical methods takes somewhere between six weeks to six months.

When to go for Spine Surgery?

Spine surgery is done when non-surgical treatment methods such as medications and physical therapy fail to relieve the symptoms. Also, surgery is considered only in the case when the exact source of the pain can be determined, such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. Surgery will be preferred only after looking for all other options by medical experts. Neurosurgeons are the doctors specialized in this.

Open Surgery VS Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Spine surgery can be of two types, i.e., open surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery. Spine surgery is generally performed as open surgery. Open surgery involves opening the operative site using a long incision so that the surgeon can access the spinal anatomy.

On the other hand, minimally invasive spinal surgery does not involve long incisions. In this procedure, open manipulation of the tissues and muscles surrounding the spine is avoided, which results in a shorter operative time. Also, reducing intraoperative manipulation of soft tissues causes less postoperative pain and results in faster recovery. 

In modern times, technology has evolved to such an extent where most spine conditions can be resolved using minimally invasive techniques.

Surgical Approaches

Either surgeon opts to go for open surgery or Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery; he can access the spine from several directions. These accessing approaches are referred to as surgical approaches and are explained below:

1.  Anterior Approach

In this approach, the surgeon accesses the spine from the front of your body through the abdomen.

2.  Posterior Approach

In this method, an incision is made in your back.

3.  Lateral Approach

In this approach, the pathway to your spine is made through your side.

Common Spinal Surgical Procedures

Some of the standard spine surgery methods are discussed below.

1.  Discectomy or Microdiscectomy

This surgical treatment method involves removing the herniated intervertebral disc, hence, removing the pressure from the compressed nerve.

2.  Laminectomy

Laminectomy is the removal of the thin bony plate on the back of the vertebra called the laminae. Laminectomy increases the space within the spinal canal and relieves pressure.

3.  Laminotomy

This process involves the removal of a portion of the vertebral arch which covers the spinal cord.  Laminotomy removes less bone than a laminectomy.

Laminectomy and laminotomy both are decompression procedures in which tissue compressing the spinal nerve is removed.

4.  Foraminotomy

Foraminotomy involves removing bone or tissue in the pathway where nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and exit the spinal column.

5.  Disc Replacement

In this method, the injured disc is replaced with an artificial one.