Remember those annual check-ups you had as a kid for scoliosis, often performed by the school nurse? Those are performed in order to catch early indications of the disease before things progressed and became much more difficult to treat over time. Some spinal conditions, like a slipped disc or two, do not require surgery – sure, you may be dealing with chronic pain more often than you’d like, but you don’t have to go under the knife.
Unfortunately, there are some spinal conditions that require this, and it’s always good to stay informed. The following is a list of common spinal conditions that may require surgery. As always, this article is just for your own personal information, and you definitely need to check with your doctor first.
If you have more than one or two slipped discs that are bulging and make it difficult to sit, stand, or lie down, then you definitely need surgery. This condition is called a discectomy, and it requires the removal of the herniated portion of the disk to help alleviate pain and nerve irritation. Some surgeries may require the removal of the back portion of the vertebrae in order to reach the ruptured disc itself. Of course, this requires a long recovery time.
Since we’re already on the topic of herniated discs, you may want to know about another surgery that helps deal with the issue. An orthopedic spine surgeon in Dallas may recommend the implantation of artificial discs to help treat the spine and make it easier to perform most movements without a problem. This may entail fusion between two vertebrae to help heal an injured disc or fortify other areas of the spine that need some TLC. Implanting artificial discs is a pretty new procedure, and isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth checking in with a specialist to see if it could work for you.
This is a more traditional way of connecting together two or more bones in the spine, as opposed to implanting artificial discs. If the discs themselves are in relatively ok shape, then spinal fusion may be a good option. It helps to fortify any spinal fracture, while also helping to relieve pain. The procedure can also be used to help get rid of painful motion between the vertebrae in case one of the discs is irrevocably damaged.
This surgery is arguably one of the more involved ones since it requires removing the bone that lies over the spinal canal. It is performed primarily with the intention of enlarging the spinal canal to help relieve nerve inflammation or pressure, typically caused by conditions like spinal stenosis. This could be the result of leaving herniated discs untreated for long stretches of time or having the rubbery cushions of said discs pressing too tightly against the spinal nerve.
Surgery on the spine is pretty serious, and it’s usually not done unless it’s absolutely necessary. You will also want to get a second opinion from a highly qualified spine specialist, just to make sure you do things properly. These are complex issues, and any patient should go into the operating room with open eyes, so to speak.