One of the essential parts of our body is the spinal cord, a system of nerve fibers and tissue that interlinks the brain with most body parts. The spinal cord and the brain form the central nervous system, which controls coordination, movement, and other important operations.
Like other parts of our body, the spinal cord can be damaged by trauma, disorder, or degenerative disease. Spinal cord injuries affect mobility, lead to spasms, cause mild to extreme discomfort, and affect the overall quality of life. Also, keep in mind that the damaging effects of spinal cord injuries might appear immediately or develop over time.
Sometimes patients may require spine surgery to repair and correct spinal structures and thus alleviate pain and discomfort.
What is Spine Surgery?
Neuro back or spinal surgery is the medical specialty involved in diagnosing, treating, and preventing spinal cord disorders. These disorders typically affect the entire spine, a portion of the spinal cord, or the nerve roots.
In numerous cases, back pain is one of the symptoms of unhealthy spinal cord abnormalities or problems with the ligaments, nerves, vertebrae, or discs. If non-surgical therapies and treatments do not improve the patient’s health, spinal surgery might be needed.
Some common types of spinal surgical procedures include:
Laminectomy is the surgery performed by neurosurgeons in which they remove a portion of the lamina, the top segment of the bone that surrounds the spinal cord. By eliminating this segment, the pressure on nerves and tissues is alleviated.
This surgical procedure may be needed in different cases of spinal stenosis, disc herniation, or other issues that cause nerve compression and reduction of spaces between spinal structures.
Herniated discs lead to different spinal disorders that may cause pain and weakness. To alleviate pain, surgeons may need to excise a segment of, or the entire, herniated disc.
Discectomy is a standalone surgical intervention. However, it may be performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as laminectomy or spinal fusion.
Disc replacement is similar to the discectomy, except the neurosurgeon inserts a prosthetic spinal disc after removing the damaged tissue. Some patients better tolerate the herniated disc replacement than spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion is a surgical technique used to treat spine disorders such as scoliosis, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, kyphosis, or fractures. The spinal fusion technique involves removing the natural disc between vertebrae and replacing it with a bone graft, which is used to fuse the affected vertebrae.
Spinal fusion stabilizes and reduces related nerve issues but sometimes requires revisional spine surgery to entirely correct.
Kyphoplasty is a modern surgical technique where surgeons use X-Ray imaging to map the spine. The next step after mapping is inserting a balloon to enlarge the space between failing vertebrae. After obtaining adequate spacing, the surgeon injects special bone cement into the area to support the spine.
This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat spinal compression fractures occurring in spinal vertebrae damaged by osteoporosis. In many cases, kyphoplasty eliminates the need for more complex surgical procedures.
Simply put, foraminotomy is a surgical intervention that enlarges the area around one of the bones in the spinal column, the area known as the foramen. Compressed spinal nerve roots may cause symptoms such as pain, weakness, or tingling limbs.
Foraminotomy is recommended in cases of degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, spondylosis, tumors, cysts, skeletal disorders, or congenital problems.
What is a Spine Doctor?
A spine doctor provides non-surgical and surgical treatment for neurological disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, nervous system, and musculoskeletal system. Most spine surgeons are neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons trained in spinal afflictions.
Unlike an orthopedic spine doctor, a neurosurgeon’s practice does not include treating musculoskeletal and joint problems. Similarly, orthopedic surgeons do not deal with surgical treatments for brain tumors, aneurysms, or epilepsy.
To summarize, a spine doctor will treat any spinal column and nervous system disorder.
What Conditions are Treated With Neurosurgery?
Although many people associate neurosurgeons with neurological conditions, these medical professionals have extensive expertise in treating various disorders affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, blood vessels, or skull.
The following is not an exhaustive list of the medical conditions that neurosurgeons diagnose and treat, but it is a good starting point to better understand their area of expertise.
Any injury or disease of the spine or any of its components (spinal column, vertebrae, discs) might produce pain, loss of mobility, or nerve damage. There are various causes of spine damage, age-related degeneration, traumatic injury, poor posture, repetitive movements, obesity, or congenital disorders.
Neurosurgeons deal with both minimally invasive and complex surgeries that treat a wide range of deformities related to:
- Spinal arthrosis
- Spinal deformities (scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis)
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs (degenerative disc disease)
- Spinal arthritis
- Congenital disabilities like spina bifida
- Spine tumors
Some traumatic injuries that may occur following an accident include:
- Spine fractures
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures
- Brain hemorrhages and hematomas
- Traumatic brain injuries
Peripheral Nerve Injury
Due to traumatic accidents or systemic diseases, the peripheral nervous system may be damaged or injured. Neurosurgeons are trained to perform procedures that treat the following:
- Sciatic nerve injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ulnar and peroneal nerve compression
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Brachial plexus injuries
Apart from the mentioned disorders, neurosurgeons also deal with tumors and neurovascular diseases that affect the spine. To learn more about spinal surgeries, you need to speak to a specialist.
Our medical physicians at the Ceda Orthopedic Group are experts in various fields, from orthopedic care, neurosurgical care, diagnostics, to interventional pain medicine, and chiropractic medicine.
Contact us today at (305) 646-9644 to schedule a consultation and let us take care of your condition! We provide transportation and strongly believe in a physician-patient relationship built on trust, empathy, and understanding. Our goal is to put you back on your feet and help you get your life back on track.
Neurosurgeons, also known as brain surgeons, specialize in treating and managing medical conditions that affect the brain, central nervous system, and spine. A neurosurgeon is highly involved in diagnosing, treating, and preventing brain, spine, and nerve disorders. Also, they help with rehabilitation after spine surgery.
The average time you spend in the hospital after surgery is 3 to 10 days, depending on your diagnosis and surgery. Also, it depends on how fast your body recovers after such procedures. However, for some procedures such as high-intensity focused ultrasound, you may be able to go home on the same day.
Before having a spine surgery procedure, you need to pass an initial assessment to help the surgeon decide whether you are fit for surgery. This assessment includes different tests such as ECG to check the heart, blood tests to check if your kidneys are working correctly, MRI and X-rays scans. Your resistance to anesthetics is also checked. At this preparation stage, the surgeon will answer all questions related to the surgery you might have.