People who have been struggling with back pain for a fair amount of time usually begin to wonder if spine surgery can be a treatment option for them. Moreover, in some cases spine surgery may be the only available treatment option for patients. Structural abnormalities, trauma, improper body mechanics and aging are some of the most common reasons leading to back pain. Other signs and symptoms calling for spine surgery include leg weakness, leg pain or leg numbness. Most often chronic back pain requires a team approach comprising of various healthcare professionals in order to diagnose and treat symptoms.
- Anterior Approach to Spine – The spine is accessed from the front of the body and through the abdomen by spine surgeons during the anterior approach.
- Posterior Approach to Spine – An incision is made by spine surgeons from the back side in order to reach the spine during the posterior approach.
- Lateral Approach to Spine – During the lateral approach, spine surgeons create a pathway to approach the spine from the sides.
- Laminectomy – This spine surgery involves removing thin bony plates known as laminae from back of the vertebra. Laminectomy is a decompression procedure which is performed in order to release pressure by increasing space within the spinal canal.
- Laminotomy – This is also a spine decompression surgery which is designed to remove portion of lamina (vertebral arch) that is covering the spinal cord. However, laminotomy removes less bone than the other laminectomy procedure does.
- Discectomy or Microdiscectomy – This spine surgery also involves removing an intervertebral disc which is herniated. As a result, discectomy will remove pressure from the compressed nerve. Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) approach for the same procedure.
- Foraminotomy – Removing of tissue or bone within or at the neuroforamen is known as foraminotomy. Neuroforamen is the junction where nerve roots branch-off the spinal cord and exit the spinal column.
- Disc Replacement Surgery – This spine surgery is an alternative to spinal fusion which is getting more popular with back pain patients. The procedure involves replacing the injured disc with an artificial disc.
- Spinal Fusion Surgery – This spine surgery is meant to enjoin two vertebrae as one. Spinal fusion surgery typically includes use of bone graft with or without the help of spinal instrumentation. Different types of bone grafts which are used in spinal fusion surgery include autograft (own graft) and allograft (donor graft). Different approaches which are used by spine surgeons for spinal fusion surgery include the following.
- Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
- Posterior Lumbar interbody Fusion (PLIF)
- Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
- Lateral Interbody Fusion (LIF)
Most common examples of spinal instrumentation components include rods, bone screws, plates and interbody devices. Purpose of instrumentation during spine surgery is either to fix or stabilize the spine in position until the time fusion is able to solidify. Spine surgeons may at times also recommend other types of instrumentation devices for treatment of spinal disorders. Interbody Cage, Interspinous Process Device (ISP), Pedicle Screws and Bone Growth Stimulation devices are some of the most common which are used during spine surgery.
In case spine surgery is the only recourse you have, it would be very helpful for you to understand that minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) offers several benefits in comparison to the open spine surgery procedures. Although they may be a little expensive, MISS can allow you to return to active play and work. Moreover, elderly patients or patients with major spinal problems will be able to achieve high level of function and alleviation of symptoms with MISS procedures.
Spine surgery in India is an excellent opportunity for international patients concerned with rising cost of healthcare within their homeland and so are seeking affordable medical solutions in other countries. Spine surgery cost in India in comparison with availability of similar procedures in other parts of the world is far less, and in fact just a fraction of the cost for some orthopedic procedures, that it takes to undergo in other global healthcare havens. Overseas patients will therefore be able to save substantial amounts of money by undergoing spine surgery in India, even after having to pay for flight tickets, accommodation, treatment and recuperative holidays as well.