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Sometimes non-surgical therapies are not enough for you to reach optimum improvement. When this happens, you and your physician will discuss what options will provide the best possible outcome for your personal needs.
Depending on the circumstances, you may consider minimally invasive surgery or complex spinal surgery. In either case, there are various types of surgical treatments to understand. These include:
Decompression – this refers to the release of pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. It may involve removing or repairing the affected spinal area. Decompression surgery can be done on the neck or lower back.
Fusion – in this case, some of the bones in the spine are locked together, or fused. Though this limits movement, patients may feel more freedom because of the pain relief it brings. Fusion surgery can be done on the neck or back.
Disc Replacement – when the space between vertebrae in the neck or the lower back is left open, it can be filled with a bone graft (resulting in fusion) or be replaced with a device that allows sparing motion.
Instrumentation – stability of the spine may be increased by using plates and screws to limit motion so bones may fuse more effectively. Instrumentation can be done on the neck or back.
Revision Surgery – surgical correction may involve freeing the nerves again and/or re-stabilizing the spine with a fusion.
Complex Deformity Reconstruction – in some cases, the spine is deformed by scoliosis or kyphosis; in other cases, the spine requires complex surgery due to a tumor or traumatic injury.