What Is The Spine?
The spinal column is made of 33 bones called vertebrae and divided into three main sections: cervical (neck), thoracic (midback), and lumbar (low back). It serves many functions in the body, the most important of which include:
Support: In combination with your back muscles, the spine supports most of your upper body weight. Having poor posture or excess weight increases the amount of pressure on your spine and can make it more susceptible to injury in the long run.
Protection: The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that run from your brain through the spinal column and branch into the body. The vertebrae of the spine surround and protect these nerves and protect the organs in your ribcage from the back as well.
Movement: The vertebrae of your spine have “facet joints” which allows your spine to be flexible and enables certain movements such as bending or twisting your upper body. The vertebrae also have “intervertebral discs” which act as cushions between the joints of the spine and allow for smooth movement. As you age or as you strain the spine, these can herniate and apply pressure against your nerves which leads to symptoms such as back pain.
What Is Spine Surgery For?
As people experience aging, trauma, repetitive motions, and other factors, their spine begins to experience wear. This can lead to structural damage and nerve compression such as with a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and other spinal abnormalities. Spine surgery can correct these damages and modern technology allows many spine-related abnormalities to be corrected with minimal scarring, muscle disruption, and blood loss using only a small incision and a camera.
Minimally Invasive Decompression looks for bone or disc tissue that may be touching a nerve and leading to symptoms such as back pain. The doctor will remove the compression and create more space for the nerve. Minimally Invasive Stabilization or Fusion prevents future movement in damaged or weak areas of the spine to prevent further breakdown. This generally involves the use of implants and may involve a bone graft.
Most people looking for neck and back pain relief, who did not find relief with conservative treatment, are candidates for minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery. To find out if you are a candidate, request a consultation with one of our expert spine doctors.