For individuals with spinal discomfort, surgery may be needed to offer pain relief. Surgeries can range from a discectomy, which can be a same day surgery procedure, to a spinal fusion.
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure takes about an hour and is intended to remove a fragment of herniated disc in the back. The surgeon will make an incision over the center of the back and carefully dissect the muscles away from the bone of the spine. Using special instruments, the surgeon removes a small amount of bone and ligament from the back of the spine. Once this bone and ligament is removed, the surgeon can find the disc herniation and remove the herniated disc fragment.
Most commonly this procedure is done to fuse the spine. General anesthesia is used to put the patient to sleep. To fuse the spine, doctors use small pieces of bone to fill the space between two vertebrae. Sometimes doctors may also use wires, rods, screws or metal plates as alternatives. Designed to stop the motion at a painful vertebral segment, fusion surgery can last from two to 12 hours, depending on the severity of patient’s problem and the surgical technique.
Once surgery is completed, patients can recover in St. Luke’s orthopedic unit’s quiet and comfortable patient suites.
To be scheduled for an orthopedic surgery, a physician referral is needed.