Spinal surgery is used to treat a variety of conditions that affect the back and neck. In many cases, your spine doctor will advise surgery only after non-surgical spinal solutions have failed to provide spine pain relief in Los Angeles or improve your mobility. Under certain conditions when suffering from a spinal issue, you may benefit from considering spine surgery.
Sitting between each of your spinal vertebrae are cushioning discs of tissue called spinal discs. When one of these discs breaks or slips out of place, it results in a herniated disc. This condition can cause symptoms such as back pain or pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in one of the limbs. If your doctor diagnoses you with a herniated disc, there are several treatments that he may recommend to provide spine pain relief. Conservative therapies such as rest, medication, and physical therapy are often sufficient for alleviating herniated disc symptoms. If these non-surgical spinal solutions fail to provide you with relief after an adequate period, then your doctor may suggest spinal surgery.
When a herniated lumbar disc affects one of the sciatic root nerves, which attach to several vertebrae of the spine, the result is a condition called sciatica. The sciatic nerves run from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down through the legs. Symptoms of sciatica often include low back pain or pain that begins in the buttock and reaches the thigh and sometimes the lower leg and foot. If you are diagnosed with sciatica, your doctor is likely to recommend non-surgical spinal solutions such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to provide you with sufficient relief, then it may be time to consider spine surgery.
Although scoliosis is often thought of as a childhood condition, it can occur in adults as well. Curvatures of the spine can develop for several reasons, such as undetected birth defects, as a secondary result of degenerative diseases, or spinal cord injury. When conservative treatments fail, your doctor may suggest surgery for scoliosis if you are experiencing chronic and debilitating pain or if the curvature continues to worsen.
For minor spinal injuries such as back strain, oral pain relievers and a brief period of rest may be all that is needed to address symptoms. In more serious cases, patients might consider undergoing spinal injections at a spine and pain center in Los Angeles. A spinal injection will deliver anti-inflammatory and numbing medications directly to the site of the injury to promote healing and bring rapid relief of your back pain. If your spine specialist determines that you could be a good candidate for spinal injections, he or she will let you know what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
It’s important to provide your spine specialist with the full details of your medical history. Let him or her know if you’re taking any medications or supplements, particularly those that can thin the blood such as aspirin and St. John’s wort. Bring any imaging studies you’ve already had, such as X-rays or CT scans. If you haven’t yet had imaging scans performed, you may be asked to undergo some testing. You might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a period of time prior to the injection. This is for your own safety. Arrange to have someone else drive you to the spine center and back home afterwards. If your health suddenly changes before your appointment, such as if you develop a cold or other illness, inform the spine specialist. He or she may need to reschedule your injection.
When you arrive at the clinic, the doctor may place an intravenous line and monitoring equipment to keep track of your vital signs. You’ll be asked to lie on a table in a certain position. Your skin will be sterilized and numbed. Under live X-ray guidance, the doctor will place a needle in the epidural space before injecting the medicines.
If you received a sedative, you’ll be asked not to drive for at least eight hours. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day. You should plan on taking it easy for the remainder of the day, although you can generally expect to return to work the following day. If you experience pain at the injection site, you can apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel. It can take a few days or perhaps a week to experience the full benefits of the anti-inflammatory medications.
A Look at Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion is a spine surgery technique in which the spine’s vertebrae are fused together, preventing them from moving or pressing against each other. Spinal surgeons perform spinal fusion surgery for a number of reasons. If you’re interested in learning more about spine fusion in Los Angeles , continue reading.
Spinal Fusion Candidates
Spinal fusion is used to treat broken vertebrae, to correct spinal deformities, to reduce or eliminate spinal pain, and to strengthen the spine. Fractures associated with injury to the spinal cord may require spinal fusion as a part of the treatment process. This spine surgery may also be used to repair a herniated disc. If a patient suffers from severe back or neck pain, a spinal surgeon may be able to identify the location of the pain in the spine. The ruptured disc is removed, and a piece of bone is fused into the spine in place of the disc to stabilize the area and reduce or eliminate pain.
Spinal Fusion Procedure
Spinal surgery is performed by a licensed spinal surgeon while the patient is under general anesthesia. While spinal surgeons use many different methods to perform spinal fusion surgeries, each method requires the use of a bone graft, which is placed between the vertebrae. The bone graft will either come from a bone in your body, from a bone bank, or from a synthetic material. Your surgeon may also use plates or screws to secure one or more of your vertebrae together. Most patients can expect this surgery to last approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Spinal Fusion Recovery
After the spinal fusion surgery, you may remain in the hospital for three to four days. You will either receive oral or intravenous pain medication. You will undergo physical therapy that will help you sit, stand, and walk after your spinal surgery. You will also be given detailed aftercare instructions when you are released from the hospital. Full recovery may take three to four months.
Reasons You May Need Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion surgery requires a spinal surgeon to fuse one vertebral body to another. If you have experienced any of the following, you may want to visit a doctor to talk about spinal fusion in Los Angeles :
One of the most common factors contributing to the need for spinal fusion is disc degeneration disease. This disease is a leading cause of both low back pain and neck pain. As the body ages, there is less fluid in the discs, which could reduce the shock absorption abilities of your spinal discs. You might also get small tears or cracks in the disk, which could eventually lead to a bulge or a break. Spinal fusion targets issues caused by mechanical back pain to reduce discomfort.
Deformities Caused by Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis leads to a reduction of spaces in the spine, which increases the amount of pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves. About 75% of all spinal stenosis cases affect the lumbar spine. Many people with spinal stenosis have pain in the lower back that radiates all the way down the leg. Age, arthritis, heredity, and trauma can all cause spinal stenosis. If you have this disorder, your doctor might suggest a spinal fusion as a treatment.
Small cracks in the lumbar spine can turn into stress fractures. Within these cracks there is constant pressure, which keeps the area from healing as other bones would. This type of fracture is known as spondylolysis and may cause the vertebrae to slip forward. Although this condition often does not always cause significant symptoms, over time it can lead to lower back and buttocks pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle tightening. The spinal fusion procedure is often used to decrease discomfort caused by Isthmic Spondylolisthesis.
Fractures or Tumors
People who have fractures or tumors affecting the spine might also be good candidates for spinal fusion. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your back or legs, schedule a consultation with a spine surgeon to see if the procedure can help.
A Look at Spinal Fusion
If you have broken a vertebra, experience pain from certain movements, have a deformity with a spinal curve or slippages, or suffer from certain herniated discs, your doctor might decide to do a spinal fusion in Los Angeles . Keep reading to learn more about the procedure and how it can help you find relief:
Bone Grafts or Implants
Spinal fusion surgery can be done using bone from another part of the body or by using metal implants. In the first method, the spine surgeon takes a piece of the pelvic bone that can join together two vertebrae. Once the graft is complete, new bone can start to grow. In the implant
method, a surgeon will use metal implants to create a bridge between the vertebrae so that new bone can grow.
Spinal fusions are performed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. It can also target fractures, spinal stenosis, and age-related spinal issues. If you are dealing with any of these problems, it is important to find a spine surgeon that can accurately determine if a spinal fusion is the right procedure for you.
If you require a spinal fusion, after the surgery your doctor can assist you with pain management options like oral medications or intravenous injections to help you through any post-surgery discomfort. . After a spinal fusion, patients typically remain in the hospital for at least a few days after. Some patients will also be referred to spend a few days in a rehabilitation facility. You can return to your normal activities once your spine surgeon sees that new bone is growing and the affected area is healing. Depending on the recommendation of your doctor, some patients will need to wear a brace after they get the surgery to improve the healing process. It is important to work closely with your doctor and physical therapist to figure out when you can safely return to all of your normal activities.
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.
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