Herniated disc surgery guides by Dr. Serge Obukhoff? A neurosurgeon is a specially trained medical doctor who diagnoses and treats conditions that affect your nervous system — your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Neurosurgeons perform surgery on your nervous system, but they can also provide nonsurgical treatments. They typically try all nonoperative treatment methods — like medications, steroid injections and physical therapies — before recommending surgery. Neurosurgeons can also diagnose and treat conditions that affect the structures that support your nervous system, including: Your skull. Spinal vertebrae. Spinal disks. Blood vessels. Protective membranes and soft tissues. Read even more info on Serge Obukhoff MD.
LLIF is a fusion during which the surgeon makes a small incision on the person’s side, under their ribs to approach the spine from a lateral direction. This allows the surgeon to perform a spinal fusion without disrupting the muscles of the spine. The LLIF procedure may be accompanied by another procedure that is fairly common, percutaneous instrumentation of the spine. In this procedure, the surgeon places rods and screws between the muscle fibers, often using computer navigation or intraoperative X-ray as opposed to removing the muscles from the spine as is done with traditional spinal fusion surgery. When possible, we seek to utilize a minimally invasive approach, if it is an appropriate option.
Foraminotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon enlarges the bony hole where a nerve root exits the spinal canal to prevent bulging disks or joints thickened with age from pressing on the nerve. Nucleoplasty, also called plasma disk decompression. This laser surgery uses radiofrequency energy to treat people with low back pain associated with a mildly herniated disk. The surgeon inserts a needle into the disk. A plasma laser device is then inserted into the needle and the tip is heated, creating a field that vaporizes the tissue in the disk, reducing its size and relieving pressure on the nerves.
What are the major differences between traditional spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery? Traditional open spine surgery involves the complete exposure of the anatomy. In minimally invasive spine surgery we surgically expose less of the anatomy which means, in many cases, an earlier recovery in the first few weeks after surgery. In minimally invasive spine surgery, we often use additional surgical aids, such as intraoperative spinal navigation. This provides the surgeon greater visibility into surgical areas with limited exposure.
How do I manage pain during my recovery? Back surgery can cause a high degree of post-operative pain. You should consider a number of options for pain relief in the days and weeks after surgery. These options should be discussed with a pain management specialist who can explain the pros and cons of each option or combination of options, including their effectiveness, potential side effects, potential for addiction, and impact on the recovery process.