SURGERY OF THE SPINE
Comprised of 33 bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, the spine might be one of the most intricate parts of the human body. Its complexity and involvement in many of the body’s functions make it vital. And yet, it goes somewhat unrecognized in daily living, until there’s a problem. If you’ve experienced neck or back pain, you’re very familiar with your spine, and you understand why it’s important to get cutting-edge, professional care when your spine isn’t functioning properly.
The physicians at OID understand the intricacy of the spine and the fundamental role it plays in maintaining human health. If you’re searching for support to relieve your back pain, the team at OID is ready to help you make decisions to put you on a path to healing and recovery.
Obtaining a diagnosis
When you meet with your physician to discuss your care, a thorough evaluation will take place. In addition to reviewing your medical history and working to understand the current problem, your physician will conduct a physical exam and review any x-rays you might already have. If further information is necessary to make a diagnosis, your physician might recommend additional testing that could include an MRI, CT, bone scan, nerve test or lab work.
Common spine injuries and diseases
No person or injury is the same, and that’s especially true when it comes to problems associated with the spine. At OID, the physicians understand that each case presents a unique opportunity to help someone regain their health through a personalized treatment plan. Our physicians most commonly help individuals with the following issues:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc problems
- Bone spurs
- Sciatic nerve pain
Determining the best path to healing
The physicians at OID use a conservative approach to spine surgery and focus on treating the whole person. Top on the list of treatments for common spine problems are physical therapy, rest and medication. The right physical therapy regimen, proper movement modifications, and (when appropriate) steroids to reduce inflammation can be the best approach to healing in many cases. When these therapies don’t produce improvement, or in the case of nerve compression, surgery may be recommended by your physician.
When surgery is necessary
Treating the whole person means ensuring your readiness and recovery from surgery. Determining the impact of surgery against other health issues you may be managing, like diabetes or high blood pressure, is paramount to a positive outcome. In preparation for surgery, your physician will also want to know what support you have for your recovery. Do you have someone who can help care for you? Is your home environment conducive to what your recovery will require?
If and when you’re ready for surgery, you can rest assured that OID has highly qualified and distinguished professionals utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge procedures.
The most commonly performed operation for back pain has been spinal fusion. There are a variety of ways this is done, but the basic principle is to take the painful segment of the spine and have it become a solid piece of bone. Spinal fusion can be done through the back (posterior) or through the front (anterior), or sometimes both ways.
Spinal fixation of some sort often is combined with some form of bone graft or bone substitute. Bone graft can be obtained from another part of the skeleton, such as the pelvis (autograft), or it can be donated bone that is processed and used in a spine fusion (allograft). The results of spine fusion for low back pain vary. A good result is a decrease in pain -- it is very rare for someone to be completely pain-free after a spine fusion. Full recovery can take more than a year.