Back pains are a widespread problem, and while back surgeries help relieve some of the causes of back pain, this is not always necessary since these pains resolve typically after a few months. Lower back pains are prevalent ailments seen by family doctors. Usually, non-surgical treatments like physical and heat therapy, or anti-inflammatory medications respond to backaches.
However, you can consider undergoing back surgeries if conservative means of treatments don’t work, or when you’re still going through disabling and persistent pain.
Dr. Timothy Steel, a world-renowned neuro and spinal surgeon, talks about the modern-day approaches to spinal surgeries. There are several types of back surgeries, including:
- Diskectomy, which involves the removal of a portion of a herniated disk to prevent inflammation and relieve irritation
- Laminectomy is a procedure where you remove the bone that lays on the spinal canal. This works by enlarging the spinal canal to help alleviate nerve pressure brought about by spinal stenosis.
- Fusion, or spinal fusion, is a method where two or more bones of the spine are permanently connected. Because of the added stability, the pain is reduced and, eventually, gone.
- Artificial discs are implanted discs and are alternatives to conventional spinal fusion.
While all these surgeries and treatments are readily available and have proved to be effective, science continues to grow. Modern therapies and approaches surrounding the treatment of back problems continue.
In the world of spinal surgery, the future is very bright. Biological advances and minimally invasive methods are introduced. From computer-aided, image-guided technologies, to radiolucent spinal implants and bone fusions, here are some of the modern-day techniques that can radically help improve spinal surgeries.
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This method enables the surgeon, such as Dr. Timothy Steel, to be more accurate in securing spinal instrumentations. A 3D model of a patient’s spine on a computer can be seen, complete with virtual representations of surgical instruments that doctors will use. Spinal navigation is quite a more advanced method. Instead of sending a patient for preoperative MRI or CT scans, surgeons can check these critical images right inside the operating room. From there, computer models of the exact patient’s spine are then created. With this, surgeons can visually “travel” across the patient’s spine through a computer.
Biomaterials for Spinal Implants
- Spinal implants made out of steel have achieved great success over the years. Recently, spinal implants use titanium metals. What’s good about titanium implants is that surgeons can obtain better MRI and CT imaging after an implant with little to no interference. Unlike stainless steel materials that cause blurring of images, titanium metal does not.
- Bone Graft. The method harvests a bone from either from the patient’s body or from a bone bank. Allografts (bones from bone banks) are collected from cadavers before commercially processed for bone transplants.
- BMP (Bone Morphogenetic Proteins). In a few years, a genetically-engineered protein called BMP (bone morphogenetic proteins) will make its way for bone fusion surgery. A collagen sponge then secures the protein.
- Carbon and Ceramic Fiber. Doctors use Carbon fibers and ceramic fibers as the carrier for vertebral body replacements or bone grafts. Since the texture is radiolucent, meaning implants made from this material are not visible on x-rays, zone fusion is seen better.
The effective treatment of the spinal disorder is achievable, thanks to the significant advances introduced during the past decade. With the integration of better technology and modern biological advances, patients can feel less trauma and better relief from pain after spinal surgery.
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This is Kevin, a full-time professional blogger. He loves to travel and try new food, surfing, and definitely a music addict. He also loves to write on trending ideas on various topics that prove helpful to others with their personal and business works.