799 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

92 Montvale Avenue, Ste. 3250 Stoneham, MA 02180

Tel: 617-547-7163

Tel: 781-979-0140

Fax: 617-547-7165

Fax: 781-435-0562

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Surgical Spine Care

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Overview

*Note: We do not provide the below services at NE Spine Care. The below is for informational purposes only.

Disc Replacement Surgery


This is a major surgical procedure performed by a spine surgeon, replacing a worn out disk in the lower back or neck. The degenerated disc is first removed and replaced by a synthetic or “artificial” disk. The goal of the procedure is to relieve back, neck, leg or arm pain while maintaining relative normal spinal motion as compared to alternate treatment with spinal fusion. Examples of total artificial disk replacements is shown below.

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Spinal Decompression Laminectomy

Laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to treat spinal stenosis. Laminectomy creates space by removing the lamina, the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal. Laminectomy leads to decompression of the spinal canal and creates a larger space for the spinal cord and nerves to travel through. At times, Laminectomy is combined with Discectomy for removal of a portion of the facet to relief Lumbar Radiculopathy or Cervical radiculopathy due to herniated disc.

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Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a major surgical procedure that fuses two or more adjacent vertebrae. This procedure provides stability by eliminating motion, and also can relieve the pressure off the spinal nerve or the spinal cord. A neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon will insert a bone graft in the space between two vertebrae and stabilize the segments by means of a metallic construct (plate screws, anchors, rods and cages).

 

This construction will hold the vertebrae together so the bones can heel into a solid unit. The bone graft is either acquired from the patient’s pelvis (autograft), from a bone bank, or it is a synthetic bone. It takes 2-3 months after surgery to have a solid bony fusion.

This type of surgery takes several hours to complete, requires few days of hospitalization and a few months of rehabilitation after discharge from the hospital. The fused segment is immobile, which places additional stress and strain on the vertebrae above and below, and may accelerate the rate of degeneration at those areas. Fusion will take away some spinal flexibility but in most cases, it involves 1-2 segments and does not limit motion very much.

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