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Five types of surgery for degenerative disc disease

In the event that several weeks or months of conservative treatment do not provide meaningful relief for neck or back pain, degenerative disc disease surgery often becomes a patient’s next best option. The specific kind of procedure a person will have depends on several factors, including the location and severity of their degenerative disc disease as well as their personal preferences. Generally speaking, there are two categories of degenerative disc disease surgery — traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

Open spine degenerative disc disease surgery

Generally, open spine surgery for degenerative disc disease is performed in the form of a spinal fusion. This type of procedure requires a large incision and involves the removal of a section of the spinal anatomy. After the incision is created, the surgeon will cut the muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia around the section of the spine that needs to be fused. Then, he or she will remove the affected disc and fill the section with bone fragments. Using metal hardware, the surgeon will secure the fused vertebrae together, put the muscles, tendons and ligaments back in place and close the incision.

Minimally invasive degenerative disc disease surgery

In addition to a spinal fusion, there are four additional types of degenerative disc disease surgery that can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. These are:

  1. Discectomy. During a discectomy, the surgeon removes the damaged material in a disc to relieve a patient’s symptoms.
  2. Facet thermal ablation. The surgeon deadens the nerve endings in an arthritic facet joint.
  3. Foraminotomy. This procedure widens the spine’s foramina, the channels through which nerve roots pass, to give them more space and keep nerves from being compressed by surrounding tissue.
  4. Laminotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon removes part of the lamina, the flat bony structure known as the “roof” of the vertebra, to make more room in the spinal canal.

The board-certified surgeons+ at USA Spine Care perform these minimally invasive procedures on an outpatient basis for individuals with degenerative disc disease and many other degenerative spine conditions. When you contact USA Spine Care, a member of our team will be pleased to tell you about the advantages our procedures have over traditional open spine surgery, including a reduced rate of infection and other complications and a shorter recovery time.^ We will also be able to review* your MRI at no cost to determine if you are a candidate. To get started, contact USA Spine Care today.

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