Wesley Chapel Spine Surgeon
Most people suffering from back pain do not require surgery. For a minority, however, conservative treatments do not work, or the condition causing the back pain requires surgical intervention.
Spinal surgery is often the patient’s best route for getting back to a normal way of moving and living. A Wesley Chapel spine surgeon can help relieve your pain and restore your mobility. Contact an experienced surgeon today to schedule an initial consultation.
Makeup of the Spine
Twenty-four vertebrae and their ligaments, muscles, and nerve make up the spinal column. The spine is divided into three sections: The cervical spine, focusing on the neck, with 7 vertebrae; the thoracic spine, encompassing the middle to upper back, with twelve vertebrae; and the lumbar, or lower, spine, with 5 vertebrae.
This is the spinal column, which contains the spinal cord. Between each vertebra are shock-absorbing intervertebral disks, consisting of a hard outer shell and a softer, gel-like inner area. The sacrum, a small bone in the back between the hip bones, and the coccyx, the tailbone, are also part of the spine.
Spinal surgery is most common in the cervical and lumbar areas, as these regions are the most flexible and most prone to degeneration over time.
Conditions Requiring Spinal Surgery
Victims of auto accidents or other trauma may require immediate spinal surgery. For other patients, the conditions leading to spinal surgery result from long-term wear and tear on the back. Conditions that may require spine surgery include:
- Degenerated disks
- Herniated disks
- Kyphosis – also known as dowager’s hump
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal instability
- Spinal stenosis – spinal canal narrowing
- Spondylolisthesis – slipping vertebrae
It is not unusual for patients to suffer from one than one spinal disorder. That means taking a holistic approach to best treat these more complicated conditions.
Traditional Spine Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Most patients do not need to undergo traditional, open back surgery. Many people do well with minimally invasive procedures, which require less downtime and a shorter recovery period.
However, not all conditions are suitable for minimally invasive surgical techniques. For example, spinal instability usually requires spinal fusion, which is not a minimally invasive procedure.
A Wesley Chapel spine surgeon discusses all options with patients and the details of the procedures, recuperation, and physical therapy.
How a Wesley Chapel Spine Surgeon Can Help
Prior to surgery, patients must undergo a variety of diagnostic procedures to pinpoint the exact source of the spinal problem. These tests include X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs and bone scans. Once the surgeon knows the precise location of the spine issue, a surgical and treatment plan can proceed.
The actual treatment and post-surgical plan is individually designed for each patient. After surgery, the doctor prescribes the appropriate pain medication, along with a physical therapy regimen best suited for that particular patient. The goal is always to have a patient return to the most active, pain-free life possible. While traditional spinal surgery does require a significant period of recuperation, most patients are able to drive and/or go back to work within a month or so of the surgery. Much depends on the type of employment, as a patient doing a lot of physical work may have to wait before getting back on the job.
If you think you may require spinal surgery, call a Wesley Chapel spine surgeon today for an appointment and examination.