This operation is used to treat leg pain caused by pressure on a nerve in the lower spinal column. It is typically achieved through a small incision through which the muscles of the spinal column are retracted and a small amount of bone and ligament is removed. The disc material is then carefully removed to relieve direct pressure on the nerve. Typically, leg pain is significantly reduced or gone immediately after the procedure.
This procedure is done for very large disc protrusions or where degenerative disease has led to significant narrowing of the space available for the nerves in the base of your spine. Part of the back portion of a vetebra is removed as well as intervening ligament. In doing so the nerves are decompressed or freed, and typically leg symptoms will improve significantly within a short period of time from surgery.
Lumbar fusion surgery may be done for reasons including degenerative scoliosis, nerve compression in the setting of instability, infection, trauma and occasionaly for spinal tumours. I typically perform this operation through a small incsion in the side to remove the disc and insert a cage between the vertebra. I then insert screws and rods through small incisions in the back. This approach minimises muscle dissection and ultimately reduces pain and hastens post-operative recovery.
This procedure is done for degenerative conditions of the neck where there is pressure on either one of the nerves to the arm, or the spinal cord itself. The operation involves a 5cm incision in the neck through which the disc material between two degenerate vertebra is removed. A cage with synthetic bone graft is then inserted and the construct is stabilized with a plate and/or screws.