Kyphoplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure to relieve pain from vertebral compression fractures, affecting the bones from which the spinal column is comprised. This procedure is usually performed on patients whose vertebral fractures have occurred as a result of osteoporosis. For best results, kyphoplasty should be performed within two months of the fracture’s occurrence.
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to relieve the spinal nerve compression that results from spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas of the spinal canal. A herniated disc results when a disc, the gelatinous tissue between two vertebrae, protrudes outside the parameters of the spine. Both spinal stenosis and disc herniation result in excessive pressure on adjacent spinal nerves, causing pain, cramping, numbness, tingling or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, lower back or legs, depending on where on the spine the problem occurs. Both conditions may result from aging, injury, or arthritic deterioration.
While many cases of spinal stenosis or disc herniation can be successfully treated through one or more conservative methods, such as rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, or the support of a back brace, in some instances these treatments are insufficient. If the symptoms of spinal stenosis or disc herniation become progressively worse, a laminectomy may become necessary. This minimally invasive surgical procedure can provide effective relief from the pain, numbness or weakness many patients experience.
Posterior Lumbar Fusion
Posterior lumbar fusion, also known as arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure performed to join two or more of the lumbar vertebrae (the small bones of the lower back) into one solid bone. This operation is designed to stop mechanical pain, the pain associated with the movement of the affected bones that results in inflammation of the discs and joints. During this surgery, a bone graft is inserted along the side of the vertebrae which will eventually help the bones grow together. The procedure is called a posterior fusion because the surgeon works on the back of the spine.
Spinal Infusion System
A spinal infusion system is a special pump that can be implanted to deliver pain-relief medication right into the spinal fluid through a catheter. This is a treatment method for patients experiencing chronic, intractable pain that has not been alleviated through more conservative methods. The spinal infusion system reduces a patient’s reliance on oral medications because it can provide strong pain relievers directly to the pain receptors of the spinal cord to achieve substantial, fast respite. The medication delivery is ongoing, so very little breakthrough discomfort occurs.
Spinal Stenosis Surgery – The X Stop
The X-Stop Interspinous Spacer is a small FDA-approved device that is implanted in the spine to relieve pain caused by pinched nerves or spinal stenosis. These conditions involve a narrowing of the space between vertebrae, causing friction between bone and tissue in the spine. Patients often experience back pain as well as numbness, tingling and pain throughout the legs and feet.
The X-Stop spacer is a titanium implant approved by the FDA in 2005. An oval-shaped device with two extensions to help secure it, the X-Stop is placed in between the spinous processes of the affected vertebrae in the lumbar (lower back) region. The spinous processes are small projections at the ends of the vertebrae attaching the muscles and ligaments to the bone. By limiting the movement of the spine at the site of the pinched nerve, the X-Stop can help to relieve irritation and pain. It stays in place permanently with no need for fusion, screws, plates or other hardware.