Which Spinal Surgery Is Right For You? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Many spinal problems that cause pain, numbness, weakness, and immobility can be corrected through spine surgery. When you consult a spine surgeon serving Los Angeles , he will be able to recommend the most appropriate surgical procedure for you based on your diagnosis, symptoms, and general health. In many cases, minimally invasive surgery is an option for patients. Minimally invasive procedures offer many benefits over traditional surgery, including less damage to tissues and muscles, less post-operative pain, shortened recovery times, and better outcomes. To learn more about common spine surgeries like discectomy, fusion, disc replacement, laminectomy, and laminoplasty, read this helpful infographic. You’ll also find information about which conditions can be treated through spine surgery, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and pinched nerves. An experienced spine surgeon can determine whether you are a good candidate for any of these surgeries.
What Is a Discectomy?
Herniated discs cause pain and discomfort. A spinal surgeon can use a discectomy to treat a herniated disc and bring relief to the patient. Keep reading to learn more about this procedure and how it can help:
The Need for a Discectomy
This procedure targets herniated discs in the upper (cervical), mid (thoracic), or lower (lumbar) back. It is performed if a patient has a lot of pain or numbness in the legs that might prevent him or her from participating in regular activities, and typically after non-surgical treatments have not decreased the pain. The surgeon will perform a physical exam to see if there is any weakness, decreased range of motion, or uncomfortable feelings that surgery can help. Patients who have
cauda equine syndrome, which prevents control of the bladder and causes new weakness in the legs usually pursue surgery as soon as possible.
The Discectomy Procedure
The surgeon will make a small incision over the affected area and move the muscles aside to get a better view of the vertebrae. The surgical team might also take x-rays during the procedure to get a clear view of the herniated disc. The surgeon must also move the nerve roots to get better access to the intervertebral disc. He or she will then remove the ruptured material to get rid of pressure that is causing pain. The surgeon also removes some of the nucleus pulposus material inside the disc to prevent the issue from recurring. Before closing the incision, the surgeon will return the nerves and the muscles to their original location.
Recovery After the Procedure
Since this is a surgical procedure, it does require a brief healing period. Soon after your procedure, your physician will likely advise you to walk around or perform other exercises to strengthen your body as it heals.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
Herniated discs cause pain, numbness, or weakness down the neck, the arm, or the hip. Although it most typically affects one side of the body, some people experience symptoms on both sides. The pain could also spread, or radiate, down the leg, which can significantly lower one’s ability to do physical activities.
This condition happens because the discs lose some of their water content as the body ages. Once this happens, tiny tears in the outer layer of the disc pave the way for the inner protein to make their way out of the bone. Once they are there, they are at risk of herniating or rupturing.
Check out this video to learn more about herniated discs. If you are experiencing any pain, numbness, or weakness in your neck, back, or limbs you should make an appointment with a spine surgeon in Los Angeles to discuss your treatment options.
A Look at Spinal Fusion
Spine fusion surgery is performed to help with spinal stenosis or after a discectomy in the neck. A spine surgeon in Los Angeles might also perform this procedure if a patient has suffered an injury or a fracture to the spine, has weakness in the spine because of a tumor, or has spondylolisthesis. Scoliosis, kyphosis, and arthritis in the spine can also be treated with spine fusion. Keep reading to learn more about the procedure and how it can help you with your issues:
The Point of the Procedure
During a spine fusion, a surgeon fuses (permanently joins) one vertebrae to another one. This
makes the spine more stable and helps to alleviate pain that occurs in between vertebrae. When a
surgeon fuses these areas, it can decrease irritation in the nerve root, which can reduce both back and leg pain.
Many surgeons choose to remove the disc to fuse it in the disc space. This process, known as an interbody fusion, encourages the bone to grow in between vertebral bodies. To perform a successful fusion, a surgeon must ensure that movement stops between joints. There must also be enough room for the new bone to grow and the area must have appropriate weight loading to make new bone.
After the Procedure
Once the surgery is complete, patients remain in the hospital for about 3-4 days. Pain medication helps patients manage any discomfort while they remain in the hospital. Specialists help patients learn the best way to sit, to stand, and to walk after the surgery to prevent further injuries to the affected area. In certain situations, the patient may be advised not to eat solid food for a number of days. With a back brace and instructions about home care, most patients will safely leave the hospital after a few days and continue to heal at home.
Reviews: “The Staff Were Very Friendly and Helpful”
At Marina Spine Center, our patients receive care that is compassionate from a medical team focused on building strong long-term relationships. Our surgeons stay up to date on advances in medical technology and use these to provide the best medical care. See what some of our patients have to say by checking out our reviews on Y elp and leave a review of your own on our Google+ page. We would love to hear from you.
“I can not say enough good about Dr. Watkins IV (Jr) and the Marina Spine Center.” – Melissa M.
Spotlight on Dr. David Chang
The doctors at Marina Spine Center are here to help diagnose and treat spinal issues that lead to significant pain and discomfort. Dr. David Chang is one of the top spine surgeons in Los Angeles and strives to provide each of his patients with personalized attention and care. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Chang:
Dr. Chang attended Princeton University before earning his medical degree from New York University. He then did his orthopaedic surgical training at NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Chang also completed an advanced fellowship in orthopaedic spinal surgery with Dr. Robert Watkins and Dr. Lytton Williams. As a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Chang has demonstrated exceptional expertise in the area of orthopedic spine surgery and how injuries can affect a person’s ability to move.
Dr. Chang focuses primarily on minimally invasive procedures, artificial disc replacement technology, and degenerative disorders that affect the cervical and the lumbar spine. He has practiced medicine on both coasts and takes pride in helping patients obtain the best treatment for their needs.
- Lumbar Spine Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Marina Spine Center
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back Pain
- Herniated Discs
- Non-Operative Options
- Lower Back Pain
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Thoracic Back Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Epidural Injection
- Sports Injuries
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched Nerve
- Spine Fusion
- Microscopic Foraminotomy
- Neck Pain
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Spinal Injections
- Athletic Spinal Injuries
- Conservative Care
- Torn Ligaments