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Surgical Treatment for back conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between invasive and minimally invasive surgery?
Do most insurance companies cover disk replacement surgery?
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Surgery for back related conditions should never be discussed (except in extreme circumstances) before conservative methods fail. Once surgery becomes a viable option for increasing the quality of a patient’s life there are multiple avenues that the patient may travel down.

Minimally invasive laser surgery is becoming more popular for procedures that do not require spinal stabilization. Because of the nature of a laminectomy a spinal fusion with instrumentation may be require to provide stabilization of the spine.

When minimally invasive laser surgery is not a practical option invasive back surgery may be considered to provide relief for the patient.

Surgical Treatment Methods

Spinal or Dorsal Column Stimulation A Dorsal Column or Spinal Cord Stimulator is a device used to control pain caused by various forms of nerve damage referred to as neuropathic pain.
Implantable Morphine Pump The implantable morphine pump is an implantable device consisting of two parts including an intrathecal catheter and a pump/medication reservoir.
Percutaneous Laser Discectomy Percutaneous discectomy including percutaneous laser discectomy is performed in the lumbar spine for a particular type of herniated disc known as a contained herniation.
Percutaneous Nucleoplasty Coblation Percutaneous nucleoplasty coblation is another type of percutaneous discectomy performed using electric radiofrequency energy and a liquid medium to create a plasma spray at a temperature much lower than a laser.
IDET (Intradiscal Electrothermic Therapy) IDET, or Intradiscal Electrothermic Therapy, is a percutaneous procedure that attempts to treat symptomatic degenerative disc disease.
Laminotomy A laminotomy is an open surgical procedure whereby a small opening into the spinal lamina is made and access to the spinal canal is created on the backside of the spine.
Laminectomy A laminectomy is an aggressive operation where the entire lamina or back side of the spine is removed.
Laminaplasty (Cervical or Lumbar) A laminaplasty procedure can have the same benefits as the laminotomy or laminectomy but works by enlarging the bony spinal canal without removing the lamina.
Transforaminal Micro Discectomy A transforaminal micro discectomy is performed if there is a herniated disc located within or on the outside of the foraminal canal.
Transforaminal Micro Decompression The transforaminal microscopic or endoscopic foraminotomy is used to treat a condition called foraminal stenosis.
Microdiscectomy A microdiscectomy is the same procedure as a laminotomy but performed using an operating microscope or endoscope through very small incisions.
Microdecompression Laminaplasty The microdecompression laminaplasty is an operation performed for the treatment of symptomatic central spinal stenosis.
MED (Micro Endoscopic Decompression) Like a microdecompression laminaplasty, a MED (micro endoscopic decompression) procedure is performed for the treatment of symptomatic spinal stenosis.
Indirect Spinal Distraction Decompression (X-Stop) The indirect spinal distraction decompression procedure (X-Stop, Diam, others) is used for the treatment of symptomatic spinal stenosis.
Nucleus Replacement, Disc Stabilization Arthroplasty One of the next major advances in spinal surgery will be in the area of nucleus replacement or disc stabilization arthroplasty. You can think of it as a partial artificial disc replacement.
Artificial Disc Replacement Artificial Disc Replacement implants are large implants that involve at least two or more components, are made of metal and plastic and must be inserted from a front or anterior approach.
Artificial Facet Replacement Artificial Facet Implants are just starting to appear in various studies.
Percutaneous Spinal Fusion, Sextant Minimally invasive percutaneous fusion surgery involves placing screws into the vertebral pedicles percutaneously through small incisions using television x-ray.
Spinal Fusion without Instrumentation and Implants The underlying goal of spinal fusion surgery is to stop motion in the spine by fusing two or more vertebrae together.
Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation and Implants In the 1960s, various spine instrumentation systems began to emerge beginning with the Harrington Rod system for the treatment of scoliosis and spinal fractures.
Major Spine Reconstruction Major spine reconstruction surgery is a further extension of the instrumented spine fusion operation. It usually involves more than one level of the spine and also adds correction of a significant deformity or treatment of a severe spine fracture or tumor.
Laser Facet Ablation (Laser Spine Surgery) Similar to the radio frequency nerve ablation, the laser facet (and nerve) ablation uses the very high heat and energy of a laser to ablate the nerve endings and the adjacent affected soft tissue.