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BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery >> Treatment Offered >> Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery is a surgical speciality which is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of spine function by managing various spinal disorders. It includes both non-operative and complex operative treatment modalities. Spine Surgery is a unique sub-specialty of orthopedic and neurosurgical surgery.The department's spine specialists offer a gamut of spinal surgeries with an aim to relieve pain, stabilization of spine and decompression of spinal cord/nerves.

At BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery, the emphasis is always on early rehabilitation. In the case of disc operations, patients are discharged from the hospital on the same day after the microsurgery. Patients who undergo Minimal Access Fusion Surgery are discharged from the hospital a day after the surgical procedure. Results of these surgeries are at par with global standards.

 

What is our spine made of ?

  • Our spine is made of a number of vertebral bones which are attached to each other with ligaments
  • There is a cushion like structure called ‘Disc’ between two vertebral bones that acts as a shock absorber and provides mobility to the spinal column
  • Spinal column houses a very important structure within the spinal canal called spinal cord, which is a link between our brain and rest of the body
  • There are lot of muscles around the spinal column that stabilizes our back, neck and also help in our movements

 

What causes back / neck pain?

Any fault within the numerous structures that form the spinal column can lead to back / neck pain. Additionally, many abdominal organs when inflamed can cause referred pain in the back

It is therefore important to thoroughly investigate and ascertain the underlying reason for back or neck pain.

 

What is disc prolapse?

Disc is a kind of cushion between two vertebral bones. It has a soft center and an outer hard shell. If the disc ruptures, the soft inner material can come out and press the nerve leading to leg or arm pain depending on whether disc prolapse occurred in lower back or neck.

9 out of 10 patients suffering from disc prolapse get better with rest and medication. However, 1 out of 10 patients, who is unable to settle or has significant weakness in arm or leg because of disc prolapse may need surgery to remove the material pressing on the nerve.

 

What is discectomy / microdiscectomy?

Discectomy is a surgical procedure for treating disc prolapse. A portion of the disc along with a small amount of bone is removed. It is done with the help of a microscope through a small incision. Because of the use of minimally invasive techniques, patient can be discharged from the hospital quickly and the recovery is even faster.

 

What is decompression?

Decompression is a standard procedure to release compressed nerves. The material, usually bone, is removed to release the nerve, thus decompressing them. Whenever suitable, such procedures are conducted through ‘Minimally Invasive Key Hole Approach’. In other cases, open surgery is recommended.

 

What is spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion is a surgery done to join together two bones (vertebrae) of spine resulting in zero movement between them. This leads to relief of pain from spinal segment. In certain selected cases, such procedures are conducted through ‘Minimally Invasive Key Hole Techniques’ (MITLIF). When required, open techniques are also used.

 

What is vertebroplasty / kyphoplasty?

Osteoporosis can lead to spontaneous fracture of back bone: ‘Vertebral Compression Fracture’ (V.C.F.)

This can cause significant pain which can be very disabling at times.

Most of these fractures can be managed by bracing, pain killer drugs and medicines for Osteoporosis. However if pain does not subside, or in certain fracture patterns as seen on X-ray and C.T. Scan, it is now possible to insert bone cement into the fractured vertebral bone (vertebroplasty / kyphoplasty).

This is done under local anaesthesia while the patient is awake. Patient can be relieved of pain and can walk soon after the procedure.

 

What do you plan to achieve from spine surgery?

  • To relieve your leg pain by removing whatever is pressing on the nerve i.e. disc, bone or scar tissue
  • To achieve fusion for relief of back pain or to stabilize unstable segment of spine
  • To relieve pressure on spinal cord or nerves in case it is leading to weakness in arms or legs
  • Improve quality of life and return to work / sport as soon as possible

 

How to prepare for spinal surgery?

Normally, you are admitted to the hospital one day before your operation. The operation will take place the next morning. You are usually in the hospital for 1-5 nights after your operation, depending on the type of surgery e.g. you may be discharged after a day or so following micro-surgery for slip disc, or may have to stay longer for major decompression and / or fusion surgery.

 

What is the operation procedure?

Operation is usually done under general anaesthesia except vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty (injecting bone cement in osteoporotic spine fracture).

  • Microdiscectomy for slip disc: size of the incision may be 2 cm or above depending on patient’s weight
  • Minimally Invasive Fusion (decompression and stabilization): There may be 4-6 small stab incisions and one 3-4 cm incision
  • Open decompression and stabilization – incision length may be 8 cm or above
  • When you wake up following your operation you can expect (any or all) the following:

  • You will be lying flat on your back with a dressing over the wound
  • A drip for fluids may be attached to your arm until you start eating and drinking
  • A wound drain may be attached to your back to minimize bruising and swelling
  • Pain control may be administered via a drip in the arm or in the tablet form
  • Occasionally, a catheter may be fitted to assist you in urination

 

How to manage pain?

Medication:

Immediate pain after your operation can be managed with a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) and pain killers.

These will be prescribed to you for one week following your discharge from the hospital. It is important to take your medication regularly to gain maximum benefit, and not just when you are experiencing pain. As your pain level becomes less, you should gradually reduce your dose of prescribed medication, beginning with your pain killers, as this will help reduce a flare up of symptoms.

Ice:

Ice packs applied to your back can be especially useful in reducing pain during the first few days after surgery. Be careful not to apply the ice directly to the skin as it can cause an ‘ice burn’

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    Director & Head
    BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery
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    Director - Spine Surgery
    BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery
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    BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery
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    BLK Centre for Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery
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