Keystone Spine Surgeon
Spinal surgery is not performed without a good reason. Most patients undergo a few months of conservative treatment before a decision to undergo spinal surgery is discussed. Before any such surgery, patients go through extensive testing to definitively identify the cause of their back pain.
A Keystone spine surgeon can change your life, relieving your pain and restoring your mobility. Contact an experienced surgeon right away to begin your treatment.
The Spinal Sections
The spine consists of three major sections, and problems can arise in any one of them. These sections consist of:
- Cervical spine – the neck, with seven vertebrae, numbered C1-C7
- Thoracic spine – upper back, with 12 vertebrae, numbered T1-T12
- Lumbar spine – lower back, with five vertebrae, numbered L1-L5
Each vertebra is separated by intervertebral discs, which provide cushioning and shock absorption. The discs are composed of a harder outer layer and a soft inner layer filled with a gel-like material. Along with the 24 movable vertebrae, the spine includes nerves, muscles, and ligaments.
There are also five sacral vertebrae, which do not move and connect the hip bones to the spine. The tailbone, formally known as the coccyx, contains four fused bones and helps attach the pelvic floor’s ligaments and muscles.
Spinal pain and disorders occur most often in the lumbar and cervical regions, as these segments experience more wear-and-tear and bear the most weight, but the thoracic spine is not immune from back issues.
Conditions Requiring Spinal Surgery
Common conditions which may require surgery for permanent pain relief include:
- Degenerated discs
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerve
- Spinal instability
- Spinal stenosis
Spinal tumors also require surgical removal. Certain spinal surgeries, such as those occurring after trauma such as car accidents, are emergency operations. Any sort of neurological problems require immediate attention. A patient experiencing incontinence, or any tingling or weakness in the extremities should contact a doctor at once.
How a Keystone Spine Surgeon Can Help
A Keystone spine surgeon carefully evaluates each patient. To pinpoint the exact cause of the patient’s spinal issues, various testing takes place. These tests may include:
- Blood and urine tests
- Bone scans
- CT scans
Depending on the diagnosis, the patient may prove a candidate for minimally invasive spinal surgery, which requires less downtime and has fewer complications.
However, not all conditions are suitable for minimally invasive surgery, and some patients must undergo traditional, open back surgery.
The surgeon discusses the entire process with the patient, ensuring each patient understands the procedure from pre-op to rehabilitation. The patient should ask questions about the surgery and issues important to them, as to when they might expect to return to work.
The answer to the latter question depends on the type of surgery the patient undergoes and their type of employment. Patients in relatively sedentary jobs may return earlier than those engaged in more physical activity during the workday.
Each patient receives an individual recuperation plan, which includes physical therapy. A patient may require special equipment during recovery, such as bracing or mobility aids. There is an overall goal for each patient, however. That is returning them to the most pain-free, active life possible.
Contact a Spine Surgeon Today
If you would like more information about your options for spine surgery, call a Keystone surgeon and make an appointment today.