What Is Spinal Surgery?
Spinal surgery is a type of surgical procedure used to treat various problems occurring in the spinal region. The spine is a central structure in the body that surrounds the spinal cord, consisting of bones called vertebrae. The spinal cord is located within the spinal canal formed by these vertebrae. Spinal surgery is necessary for repairing damaged bones, such as fractures or dislocations, as well as in cases where the spinal cord or nerves are injured or compressed.
Which Conditions Can Be Treated with Spinal Surgery?
Spinal surgery is performed to treat different conditions that occur in the spinal region. Some spinal problems arise from damage to the bones, discs, or tissues of the spine, while others may be congenital. Some of the conditions that may require spinal surgery are:
A herniated disc occurs when a portion of the discs located at the back of the spine protrudes outward. This condition can exert pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness. Herniated discs commonly occur in the neck and lower back and are often the result of aging and excessive strain.
The treatment of a herniated disc may require surgical intervention such as spinal surgery. Spinal surgery is an effective treatment method for herniated discs and can help alleviate pain, numbness, and weakness. During spinal surgery, surgeons remove the damaged part of the disc, reducing pressure on the spine.
Spinal surgery can be an option for herniated disc treatment, but each patient's condition is unique. Before deciding on surgery, the patient's symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors are carefully evaluated. Prior to deciding on surgery, the patient's doctor may also suggest non-surgical treatment options. These treatments may include rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and corticosteroid injections. However, spinal surgery is recommended when these treatments are ineffective or significantly impact the symptoms.
The spine is one of the most important structures in our body, encompassing the spinal cord and nerve roots, and it enables us to stand upright. To maintain a healthy functioning of our mobility, it is crucial that the spinal cord and nerve roots are not compressed. Especially in advanced age, degeneration-related spinal canal narrowing can lead to symptoms of spinal stenosis.
Among these symptoms are weakness and numbness in the legs, walking difficulties, loss of bowel and bladder control, and weakness in the arms. Moreover, chronic pain complaints that do not respond to medication, physical therapy methods, and pain management techniques can emerge. In advanced stages, paralysis and confinement to bed can develop. Particularly in cases where walking function is lost, surgical options need to be considered. Surgical methods include widening the spinal canal, removing herniated discs, eliminating all compressing tissues, correcting any existing deformities and misalignments, and stabilizing the spine with screw-based techniques. Given that the age range for spinal stenosis is typically between 50 and 90 years old, it is vital that such major surgeries be performed in fully equipped centers incorporating advanced technology, due to the potential development of internal complications. Additionally, centers that have well-developed intensive care units, and expertise in anesthesia, cardiology, internal medicine, physical therapy, neurology, and collaboration with a neurosurgical department are necessary. At Koru Ankara Hospitals, we prioritize your health and work to provide you with the best possible facilities to ensure the treatment and recovery process of your conditions are optimized.
Scoliosis is a condition characterized by the sideways curvature of the spine. Normally, the spine rises along a straight line, but in scoliosis, the spine curves to the side and may also rotate. The causes of scoliosis include congenital disorders, muscle weakness, injuries, and certain neurological conditions.
The treatment for scoliosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the patient's age, symptoms, and other factors. Treatment may require surgical intervention such as spinal surgery.
Spinal surgery can be an effective method for treating scoliosis. During surgery, metal plates, rods, and screws can be used to correct the spine. These materials help to straighten the spine and keep it in proper alignment.
Spinal tumors are one of the conditions that require spinal surgery. Spinal tumors are tumors that occur inside or near the spine. These tumors can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or even paralysis by exerting pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.
Spinal surgery is an effective treatment option for spinal tumors. During surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor and reduces the pressure on the spine. Surgery may involve complete removal or partial removal of the tumor, but each case is different.
The treatment of spinal tumors can vary depending on the type, size, spread of the tumor, and the patient's condition. Small and slow-growing tumors can be treated without surgical intervention. However, large or fast-growing tumors may require treatments such as spinal surgery and radiation therapy.
Spinal fractures are also a condition that requires spinal surgery. Spinal fractures are fractures that occur in any part of the spine and can be caused by spinal injuries or conditions like osteoporosis. Spinal fractures can lead to serious consequences such as back pain, limited mobility, nerve damage, and even paralysis.
Spinal surgery is an option used for the treatment of spinal fractures. During surgery, the surgeon repairs the fracture and stabilizes the spine. Surgical intervention can be performed in different ways depending on the type and severity of spinal fractures. In some cases, alternative treatment options may be preferred instead of spinal surgery.
Prior to spinal surgery, the patient's condition and the severity of the spinal fracture should be evaluated. Before surgery, your doctor may also suggest conservative treatment options. These treatments may include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and other therapies.
These are just some examples listed, but there are many different diseases and conditions that require spinal surgery. Spinal surgery can be performed in different methods depending on the severity of the disease, the patient's overall health condition, and other factors. Prior to spinal surgery, the patient's medical history, symptoms, and other factors are carefully evaluated, and decisions are made accordingly.
Open and Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
Open surgery is a long-established surgical method that involves opening the spine to fully visualize the problematic area. In this approach, the tissues overlying the spine are cut, and the spine is opened to make the problematic area visible. Open surgery provides a more comfortable working space during the surgical intervention and allows for the use of larger instruments. However, it requires larger incisions, which can result in a longer recovery period.
Minimally invasive surgery, on the other hand, is a less invasive method that allows visualization of the problematic area through smaller incisions without opening the spine. This method is performed using specialized instruments and requires a smaller working area during the surgical intervention. In minimally invasive surgery, the muscle tissue overlying the spine is preserved, resulting in less damage. This helps to shorten the recovery time. Minimally invasive surgery causes less pain and blood loss during the surgical procedure.
Open surgery involves larger incisions compared to minimally invasive surgery.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will evaluate with you to determine which method is suitable for you.
Healthcare Professionals Involved in Spinal Surgery
Spinal surgery is typically performed by a multidisciplinary team of various healthcare professionals. This team includes neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, physiotherapists, cardiologists, internal medicine specialists, and other experts. They collaborate to assess the patient's condition and determine the most suitable approach for treatment.
Spinal surgery provides many benefits, but like any surgical procedure, it carries risks. Complications such as infection, bleeding, spinal cord or nerve damage can occur during the surgical procedure. Additionally, postoperative period may involve pain, infection, wound dehiscence, neurological problems, and other issues. Therefore, careful monitoring and necessary precautions are important before and after surgery.
The recovery process after spinal surgery varies from patient to patient. Following the surgical procedure, the patient may stay in the hospital for several days or weeks. The recovery period depends on factors such as the patient's age, overall health condition, the type of surgical procedure, and the patient's healing rate. During the recovery process, patients may need to rest, take appropriate medication, eat well, walk, and engage in physical therapy.
Long-term outcomes after spinal surgery are generally positive. Patients experience reduced pain, improved mobility, and overall enhancement of their health condition. However, specific complications may arise after surgery, and some patients may require further treatment.
In conclusion, spinal surgery is necessary for conditions related to spinal cord or nerve damage, or other problems occurring in the spinal region. This surgical procedure can be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, and it involves the collaboration of various healthcare professionals. The recovery process after spinal surgery depends on the patient's age, overall health condition, and the type of surgical procedure. Due to potential postoperative complications, careful monitoring and necessary precautions are crucial for patients before and after surgery.