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What Types of Spine Surgery Does Our Hospital Perform?

Robert Watkins IV';

By Robert Watkins IV

Posted on August 27th, 2020 in Spine

Every year, over 1.62 million people undergo spine surgery for problems such as compression fractures, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and spinal deformities. While not every spine issue requires surgery, it is often necessary to alleviate the distressing symptoms the patient is experiencing, as well as to increase their life quality.

At Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, we have a whole department focusing on spine surgery and our surgeons have over 20 years of experience in performing spine surgery. The following are the most common spine surgical procedure we perform:

Vertebroplasty

This procedure is used to treat compression fractures and entails the surgeon injecting bone cement in the damaged area of the spine, which hardens and strengthens the vertebrae. People who have osteoporosis are very susceptible to compression fractures, which is why they represent the majority of patients who undergo vertebroplasty. The primary benefit of vertebroplasty is that people who undergo it will experience pain relief and increased mobility. Thereby, they will also rely less on pain relievers. Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure that is very similar to vertebroplasty. However, the difference is that the former involves the use of special balloons to create space within the vertebrae before the surgeon injecting bone cement in the space.

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Spinal Decompression

When spinal stenosis causes a narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pain, numbness or weakness, spinal decompression will be necessary. During spinal decompression, the surgeon removes the walls of the vertebrae to open up the spinal column, which will remove the pressure on the nerves. The procedure is also known as laminectomy and the primary purpose of it is to create enough space within the vertebrae so that the spinal cord and the nerves can move freely. People who struggle with stenosis, the narrowing of the vertebrae, make up the vast majority of individuals who need spinal decompression. Stenosis is usually caused by aging, as numerous people come to struggle with spine problems such as arthritis, enlarged joints, bone spurs and bulging discs when they become elderly. It is worthy of note that spinal decompression can be performed anywhere along the spine, from the neck to the lower back.

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Discectomy

People with a herniated disc who experience bothersome symptoms because of it are often good candidates for discectomy if non-surgical treatment fails to work. During the procedure, the herniated disc is removed by the surgeon so that it no longer exerts pressure on the nerve root or the spinal cord. It is noteworthy that discectomy is only performed for herniated discs in the lower back. Discectomy is often performed as microdiscectomy, a procedure during which a special microscope is used by the surgeon to see the disc and the nerves. Before the disc material is removed, a small piece of bone, medically known as the lamina, may also be removed, a procedure that is known as laminectomy.

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Foraminotomy

During foraminotomy, the surgeon enlarges the hole where the nerve root is within the spinal canal to prevent bulging discs or thick joints from pressing on it. The main purpose of the surgery is to relieve the pressure on nerves that are being compressed by the intervertebral foramina, the passages through the vertebrae through which nerve bundles pass from the spinal cord to the body. Foraminotomy is thereby a decompression procedure. People who need to undergo this procedure usually struggle with distressing symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, numbness, a tingling sensation and weakness.

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Spinal Fusion

During spinal fusion, the surgeon removes the disc between two or more vertebrae and subsequently fuses the adjacent vertebrae by using bone grafts or metal devices. While the procedure may result in loss of flexibility in the spine and usually requires a long recovery period to allow the bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae together, it remains a very effective treatment for people whose vertebrae are severely damaged. The main purpose of spinal fusion is to eliminate the motion between two or more vertebrae so that the patient will no longer experience distressing symptoms such as pain and discomfort in their back.

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Artificial Disc Replacement

As a very effective alternative to spinal fusion, artificial disc replacement entails the surgeon removing the affected disc and replacing it with a synthetic one that helps restore height and movement between the vertebrae. The procedure is usually performed in the lumbar area of the spine. The artificial disc that will be inserted between the vertebrae is very durable, with a lifespan of 50 years. It is worthy of note that not everyone with a spine problem will qualify for artificial disc replacement, as this procedure can only treat limited types of disc pathology. Instead, they will be recommended spinal fusion.

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Undergo Spine Surgery at Cedars Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital

If you have problems with your back and non-surgical treatment failed to alleviate your symptoms, you may want to take into consideration undergoing spine surgery. With over 20 years of experience, our surgeons are ready to perform the procedure you need after thoroughly evaluating your health and deciding what surgery is the most effective and the safest for you. We perform all of the above spine procedures, so if you were recommended one of those by your doctor, you can undergo it at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, as we have a whole department dedicated to spine surgery that includes the best surgeons in the state. For additional information about spine surgery, please feel free to give our hospital a call and our medical staff will gladly answer all your questions and address all your concerns.