Spine Surgery: Is Surgical More Effective Than Non-Surgical Treatment?

By Dr. Mihir Bapat in Institute for Bone, Joint Replacement, Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine , Spine Surgery Unit

Apr 24 , 2023 | 3 min read

There are many questions that pop-up in your mind before undergoing a spine surgery, isn’t it? The list will definitely not end if you don’t have proper knowledge about the same. So, it is imperative to be well-informed before going through any surgery or medical procedure. The best hospitals in India offers specialised centre for spine treatment managed by team of medical experts.

How Do You Know When You Need Spine Surgery?

Following symptoms might arise a need for spine surgery. However, the medical evaluation is done before reaching to any conclusion.

3 alarming symptoms when you need to see a doctor:

  • Extreme lower back pain or neck pain
  • Disk problems
  • Overgrowth of bone

Types of Back/Spine Surgeries

According to NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), it provides the latest surgical options for treating low back pain.

7 types of spine surgeries that you must be aware of:

  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty

These surgical procedures repairs compression fractures of the vertebrae caused due to osteoporosis. Both procedures inject a glue-like bone cement that hardens and invigorates the bone.

  • Spinal laminectomy/spinal decompression

This surgery is usually performed when spinal stenosis causes a narrowing of the spinal canal that as a result causes extreme pain, numbness or weakness. This procedure involves the removal of bony walls of the vertebrae and any bone spurs, aiming to open up the spinal column to remove pressure on the nerves. The treatment is offered at all the leading orthopaedics and joint replacement in India.

  • Foraminotomy

The procedure encourages the surgeon to enlarge the bony hole where a nerve root exits the spinal canal in order to prevent bulging discs or joints thickened with age from pressing on the nerve.

  • Discectomy

This procedure involves the removal of a disk when it has herniated and presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. However, laminectomy and discectomy are frequently performed together.

  • Artificial Disk Replacement

This procedure is however considered as an alternative to spinal fusion for the treatment of people with the extremely damaged disks. In this procedure, it is removed and is replaced by a synthetic disk that helps to restore height and movement between the vertebrae.

  • Spinal Fusion

The procedure involves the removal of the spinal disk between two or more vertebrae, then fuses the adjacent vertebrae using bone grafts or metal devices secured by screws. The patient who undergoes this procedure may result in some loss of flexibility in the spine and requires a long recovery period to allow the bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae together.

  • Corpectomy

The procedure involves the surgical removal of a part or all of the vertebra in order to take pressure off the spinal cord and nerves or in other words, it is often used to reduce pressure caused by stenosis, bone spurs, fractures, a spinal tumour or infection in the cervical (neck) thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar (lower back) spine.

In Corpectomy, the discs above and below the affected vertebra are removed, along with the middle portion of the bone. Thus, inserting a bone graft or metal prosthesis to keep the spine stable after the damaged structures have been removed.

So, if you are recommended for a spine surgery then one of the above types can be chosen by a spine surgery specialist in Mumbai for your treatment. It is also imperative for you to have complete knowledge about these types thus, enabling you to make an informed decision.


Medically Reviewed

Dr. Mihir Bapat (Director & Sr Consultant - Nanavati Max Institute of Spine Surgery)

Dr. Mihir Bapat is a Director & Sr Consultant at Nanavati Max Institute of Spine Surgery with an experience spanning over 25 years. He has performed over 8000 successful spine surgeries and had been awarded numerous accolades for his contribution in the field. He specialises in Column traumatology, Percutaneous Vertebroplasty for Compression Fracture and Complex Spinal Deformity Correction.

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