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Surgery for Herniated Discs, Spinal Stenosis & Other Spine Issues

Conditions affecting the spine, head and neck can be especially painful and dangerous if left untreated. Damage to the spinal cord in particular can lead to severe, long term problems, so it is important to diagnose and treat conditions as soon as possible. When performing spinal surgeries, our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques with intraoperative monitoring that includes the use of our Nerve Monitoring System. This system helps surgeons locate, identify and map specific nerves and branches. It is also used to verify nerve function and integrity. Common non-robotic spinal procedures performed at miVIP include:

Cervical Fusion: Cervical spine surgery fuses one or more joints in the upper spine and is designed to relieve pain and other symptoms of nerve dysfunction from compression and chronic irritation. The goal of surgery is to immobilize the area of the neck that presses on the nerve roots when the spine flexes. Ideally, only one disc space in the neck will be fused, joining two vertebrae firmly together into a single unit. This approach has the highest chance of relieving symptoms without causing mobility and stability problems in the rest of the neck.

Discectomy: A discectomy is the surgical removal of one or more discs in the spine. Cervical and lumbar discectomy procedures are the most common, occurring in the neck and lower back, respectively. The discectomy relieves spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviates the corresponding pain, weakness, numbness and tingling.

Foraminotomy: A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure to expand the size of the open spaces along the vertebrae (called foramen) to provide more room for the nerves to pass. If stenosis (narrowing of the foramen) develops, this can place pressure on the nerve root, causing it to become irritated and inflamed.

Laminectomy: Minimally invasive laminectomy and endoscopic laminotomy are two similar procedures that help “decompress” or relieve pressure on the spinal nerves by removing a section of the lamina (the back portion or “roof” of the spine) and sometimes the surrounding tissues, as well. This procedure may be recommended for patients who have spinal stenosis, which causes the openings through which nerves exit the spinal column to become narrower over time. Bone and other tissues may press on the nerves, causing a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

Lumbar Fusion: Lumbar fusion is a commonly performed lumbar spine surgery that immobilizes vertebral bones in the lower spine. Protecting a segment of the spine from excessive or misaligned motion may help relieve pressure on the nerves in that area, reducing chronic inflammation and irritation. The goal of treatment is to minimize lower back pain, resolve sciatica (pain and numbness or tingling that travels into the legs and buttocks) and restore a reasonable level of mobility.

Neuroplasty: Neuroplasty is a minimally invasive treatment designed to address chronic back pain by reducing inflammation and scar tissue in the spine. The nerves that run through the epidural space in the spine (the narrow area between the discs and the surrounding membrane) may be negatively affected by scar tissue that forms after injury or surgery. They may get compressed or trapped in one position. This constant pressure and irritation may cause the nerves to swell, leading to ongoing pain that radiates into the legs or other areas depending on where the adhesions are located in the spine.

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