It’s not a coincidence that the term “backbone” has become synonymous with the foundation or basis of something. Brain and spine physicians will be the first to tell you that your back really is one of the body’s most crucial components.
Fortunately, serious back problems aren’t one of the most common conditions you’ll run into, but when you do they can be excruciatingly painful and incredibly expensive. Overall, musculoskeletal disorders cost the U.S. about $850 billion annually. In order to treat many of these requires a back surgeon and going under the knife. Here are a couple of common procedures back surgeons do every day to get you back on your feet and back to action. Bad pun intended.
- Spinal Fusion: Probably the most common procedure spine surgeons engage in is spinal fusions. This is a process in which vertebrates are literally fused together. While it does restrict some movement between the actual bones of the spine, it’s relatively insignificant to the actual movement capabilities of the person.
Incomplete fusion of the bones is a possibility, which is why you’re going to want a quality back surgeon for this operation. After this form of surgery is complete it can take anywhere from three to 12 months before you will be able to resume regular physical activities.
- Laminectomy: If a back surgeon performs a laminectomy on you, that means they’re literally removing pieces of your back. While they do this in order to relive pressure on your spinal nerves, it can of course have some adverse side effects. Namely, that your spine will be less stable and might actually require a spinal fusion to regain the back’s integrity.
- Disc Replacement: Artificial cervical disc replacement is an alternative option to spinal fusion that thoracic surgeons can perform. As the name implies, this procedure is when a back surgeon removes a damaged spinal disc and puts the artificial disc between the vertebrae.
Some of the benefits of having this sort of surgery include, the ability to maintain regular neck motion, limits degeneration of adjacent segments of the back, eliminates issues associated with the need for a bone graft, and allows faster postoperative neck motion.
Regular back pain is no fun, but surgery can have many consequences too. It’s important to properly investigate all of your options before committing to any one of them and ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your individual body.