One Mercado Street, Suite 200 Durango, CO 81301
If nonsurgical treatment options have failed, proved ineffective, or if there are emergency symptoms, spine surgery may be necessary. The spine surgeons at Spine Colorado each perform a high volume of spine surgery each year—typically well over 200 cases annually. They are also fellowship-trained (the highest level of training possible) and board-certified. They concentrate their practice exclusively on spine surgery. Their expertise includes minimally invasive spine surgery, all common surgical problems in the neck and low back, scoliosis surgery, as well as new innovations including total disc replacement. In addition, the surgeons at Spine Colorado are already referred some of the most complex spine cases across the region and have extensive experience with cervical myelopathy, scoliosis and deformity surgery as well as revision surgery. This experience translates into improved patient care of all spinal problems.
The following is a list of common surgical problems and issues.
Common spine issues
Through the placement of hooks, rods and screws, a spinal curve can be corrected and stabilized. A fusion often follows scoliosis surgery, in order to maintain the correction permanently.
Scoliosis is not the result of an injury and usually appears without cause. It can be inherited, and it usually affects more women than men. In the case of most spinal curves, the spine is not only bent but also twisted like a bent corkscrew. Some cases of scoliosis are not serious. Over time, if a curve worsens, surgery may be required to correct the curve and prevent pain and worsening deformity. In extreme cases, if the curve is not corrected, the spinal deformity can place pressure on internal organs, which can shorten a person's life expectancy.
During scoliosis surgery, the surgeon may use special
instruments that attach onto various vertebra segments. These surgical
rods are the adjusted to "de-rotate" the twisted and bent
corkscrew spine. Decades ago, Harrington Rods (the “first-generation” of
instrumentation) were used to surgically straighten the spine. However,
this technique did not untwist or correct the spine. Today, there are “fourth-generation” techniques
to improve corrections, minimize levels fused and minimize the need
for post-operative bracing.
Unusual movement at a vertebral segment will probably result in pain, especially if the person already has or displays symptoms of degenerative disc disease, fractures, scoliosis or a weak spine. This movement may require a discectomy, and subsequently, a lumbar interbody fusion. Anterior and posterior fusion techniques can be performed in the neck and the low back.
Not all patients who have spinal problems need spine surgery. They can be managed with microscopic decompression or minimally invasive techniques. Spinal fusion is reserved for patients who have spinal instability, spinal deformity or painful degenerative pain. Obviously, this is only after a patient has failed all conservative measures.
In fusion surgery, the goal is to cause bone graft to
grow between two vertebrae and stop the motion at a particular segment
by adding bone graft to it. This results in one long bone rather than
two separate vertebrae. Anterior and posterior lumbar fusions may be
done separately or can be used together for the most severe problems
of the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest level) and lumbar spine (low
back). Your spinal surgeon will help you decide which technique is
right for you.
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