One of the most critical areas of health is the back and neck, and pain in these areas can cause stress, a lower degree of physical capability and a lower quality of life. There may be many different causes for back and neck pain, from long term wear and tear on the spinal system to injuries from activity or accidents.
Fortunately medical advances in surgical procedures such as micro surgery and disk replacement surgery have brought the science of back and neck pain reduction to another level. Disk Replacement Surgery, while relatively new in the US has been used in Europe for over 15 years.
Currently there are only two manufacturers of vertebral replacement disks, and only one of them, ProDisk is used for both the lumbar and cervical spine (the back and the neck), and has proven to be an excellent remedy. The standard surgery before disk replacements started gaining ground in the US was spinal fusion, which had many problems of its own; even the surgery goes perfectly, a bone transplant is used to ‘weld’ two vertebrae together, resulting in a reduction of motion.
Disk replacement surgery allows for a full range of motion by placing a cartilage replacement between the vertebrae; this is done by capping the vertebra above and below the damaged disk, coating the bones in a thin cobalt-chrome-molybdenum alloy; a polymer layer rests between these two endcaps, and it is the polymer that serves as the new disk.
This is a major surgery, just as the spinal fusions are, and cannot be performed on all patients. Allergies, a spinal infection or patients with osteoporosis and some other conditions will not be good candidates for this, but disk replacement surgery can be extremely effective.
There are non-surgical and minimally invasive surgeries that can also help many patients – one of these is known as XLIF, or Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion surgery. This surgery is a Spinal Fusion surgery, but can be a real alternative for people who don’t qualify for the Disk Replacement surgery.
This surgical process enters through the side of the body (hence the lateral) and can be done in this way because of advanced monitoring technology which allows the doctor to monitor nerve activity and health in real time as the surgery is taking place.
Spinal decompression is another minimally invasive spine surgery that uses micro surgery techniques; this includes the Microdiscectomy. This procedure uses surgical instruments, often a laser, to remove the portion of a slipped disk that is causing the pain. Conditions that can be helped by these decompression surgeries include disc swelling from various conditions including Herniated discs, stenosis and sciatica and more.
In New York and parts of New Jersey you can find an experienced medical team in the offices of Joshua Rovner at Progressive Spine & Orthopedics. You do not have to live your life in pain, and the options for people suffering from chronic back and neck pain are better than ever. Call Doctor Rovner new for more information.