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What surgical procedures are used in spinal surgery?

Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine
There are a wide range of surgical procedures used in spinal surgery. The most extreme includes removing portions of the vertebrae (laminectomy) and inserting either bone chips or metallic devices to cause the bones above and below the surgery site to fuse together. This surgery requires the patient to spend several days in the hospital and is followed by a recovery period that often includes a physical therapy program. On the other end of the surgical spectrum, there is microdiscectomy, a relatively simple outpatient procedure that removes just a small portion of a disc. The correct surgical approach is determined by the size and location of the herniation, or the degree of degeneration. Finding the right surgeon -- one who will take the time to discuss all options and alternatives, and one who has a solid reputation for performing these procedures -- is important to your outcome.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.