Spine surgery services by Serge Obukhoff? Why would I need to see a neurosurgeon? In most cases, your primary healthcare provider or your neurologist will refer you to see a neurosurgeon if you have a neurological condition that requires or would benefit from an in-depth assessment. Neurosurgeons have extensive knowledge about your brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and spine, and the conditions that can affect them. Just because your healthcare provider recommends you see a neurosurgeon, that doesn’t necessarily mean surgery is around the corner. Instead, it means you’ll receive a comprehensive neurological exam, a review of your symptoms and medical history, and detailed diagnostic imaging to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. From there, your neurosurgeon — and in some cases, other specialist providers — will determine and discuss the best treatment options for you, whether that’s a nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment or a combination of both. See additional details on Serge Obukhoff MD.
Traditional spinal fusions are used to treat instability of the spine, scoliosis, severe degeneration of the discs, or a combination of these issues. A fusion involves using bone from the patient’s body to fuse one vertebrae to another. Spinal instrumentation (pedicle screws) are placed into the vertebrae to stabilize the motion segment and assist with the fusion process. Some of the most common minimally invasive spine procedures we perform are the Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) and Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MIS TLIF) and percutaneous instrumentation.
Spinal laminectomy/spinal decompression. This is performed when spinal stenosis causes a narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pain, numbness, or weakness. The surgeon removes the bony walls of the vertebrae and any bone spurs, aiming to open up the spinal column to remove pressure on the nerves. Discectomy. This procedure is used to remove a disk when it has herniated and presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Laminectomy and discectomy are frequently performed together.
Many patients with spine problems can be treated non-surgically. Physical therapy, home exercises, medication and often times spinal injections are recommended prior to considering surgery. If the problem still isn’t resolved, then surgery becomes a good option. For instance, if a patient has significant neurogenic pain in the extremities and non-surgical management has not provided relief, surgical intervention is the best decision. For those with symptoms related to spinal cord or nerve root compression, such as significant weakness in an arm or leg or limb, we may recommend surgical intervention if non-surgical management was unsuccessful.
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.