There are over 17,000 new spinal cord injuries per year. This is one of the main components of our body’s central nervous system and is vital to our overall well-being. Unfortunately, there are many ways that one might find themselves with a spine injury.
When damage is done to the spine, surgery is often necessary. Read on to find out more about the types of spinal surgery.
Why Is the Spinal Cord Important?
To understand the importance of a healthy spine, we first need to discuss its role. The brain and spinal cord are the central nervous system. The brain is the command center and the spine is the pathway in which the body receives the messages.
It is made up of vertebrae and nerves. It serves three main functions including motor, sensory, and automatic. Essentially, the vertebrae protect these nerves that branch off to connect the rest of the body to the brain.
When to Consider Surgery
There are several reasons that one might need to undergo surgery. Some of the most common include:
- Herniated and ruptured disks
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disk disease
- Vertebral fractures
Common Types of Back Surgery
Back surgery carries higher risks than most other surgeries. This is because you are working so closely with very delicate components of the nervous system. However, there are many common types of spinal surgeries.
Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty
These procedures are most often used to treat compression fractures due to osteoporosis. Both include the injection of a substance that is similar to glue. This bone cement then hardens to strengthen the bone.
In the case of a bulging disk or thickened joint, this procedure can be done. The neurosurgeon enlarges the hole where the nerve root exits the spinal cord.
When a disk is severely damaged, this procedure works to remove it. After removal, the two adjacent vertebrae are fused with bone grafts or metal devices. Recovery time can be a long process as you wait for the vertebrae to grow and become completely fused.
Artificial Disk Replacement
This is an alternative to spinal fusion. A synthetic disk would be used to replace the damaged one. This gives the potential to restore height and flexibility.
When a disk is mildly herniated, this laser surgery is used to treat it. A needle is inserted into the disk, then a plasma laser device is inserted into the needle. This device then uses radiofrequency energy to vaporize the tissue. In the end, this relieves pressure from the disk.
Spinal Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression
Spinal stenosis causes a narrowing of the spine which can result in weakness, numbness, or pain. The surgeon treats this by removing some of the bony walls and any bone spurs to open it up and remove the pressure.
Spinal surgery is done to regain your health and make your life more enjoyable. A healthy spine is important to our everyday lives. You must work with your doctor to weigh your pros and cons. Surgery is not a solution for everyone.
Are you looking to get help with your spinal cord condition? Contact us to get started on your journey to bettering your health.