The Most Common Back Surgery Options

Over the years McCarron Law Firm has worked with numerous clients who have had to have back surgery. Many options exist to relieve pain and restore function; here are the most common:

  • Spinal fusion: Spinal fusion permanently merges multiple bones in the spinal column to eliminate motion between vertebrae. By eliminating this motion and increasing spinal stability, fusion procedures eliminate many of the most common causes of spine-related pain. In recent years, physicians have also started to implant artificial disks as an alternative to spinal fusion. The effectiveness of these implants is still unclear.
  • Diskectomy: This procedure removes herniated portions of a disk. It requires the removal of all or part of the rear portion of a vertebra. Removing the herniated portion of the disk relieves pressure on the nerve and can decrease sensations of pain, tingling or numbness.
  • Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET): After inserting a needle into the affected disk, doctors will heat the needle to extremely high temperatures for a short period of time. The result is a thickened disk wall, which reduces the ability of the disk to bulge and cause unwanted nerve sensations.
  • Kyphoplasty: A balloon like device is inserted into the vertebrae and then inflated. This expands any compressed vertebrae and is followed by an injection of bone cement to increase vertebral stability.
  • Vertebroplasty: Bone cement is injected into compressed vertebrae during a vertebroplasty. This increases spinal stability, stabilizes fractures and can reduce pain or other sensations.
  • Laminectomy: During this procedure, surgeons will remove the lamina (the outer covering of the spine) so that the spinal column can be enlarged. This relieves pressure on the nerve that is the result of spinal stenosis.
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