Back and Spinal Surgery
Your spine is a combination of vertebrae (bones), flexible ligaments and tendons, intervertebral discs, muscles and nerves. It’s designed to be incredibly strong and flexible to provide mobility on many different planes and to protect your highly sensitive nerve roots. All these elements of your spine can be strained, injured or affected by disease which can lead to back pain. For example, your bones may be fractured, your muscles may be strained, your discs may become herniated or your nerve roots may be compressed.
Here at Winfield Hospital we offer investigative tests to diagnose your back condition and a range of spinal surgeries to treat many back and spine problems. We provide facet joint injections, nerve root decompression surgery, discectomy, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.
The range of spinal surgeries we offer
Nerve root decompression surgery
Nerve root decompression surgery or lumbar (lower back) decompression surgery alleviates pain caused by pinched nerves (neural impingement). A number of nerve root decompression procedures may be performed on their own or together including:
- laminectomy (a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina is removed and the spinal canal widened to relieve pressure on the nerve root and create more space for it)
- discectomy (removal of ruptured disc material that is pressing on a nerve root)
- spinal fusion (the joining of two or more vertebrae together using a graft to relieve pressure of the bone on your nerve root).
Non-surgical treatment is often offered initially to relieve your back pain and surgery will be recommended if this isn’t successful.
Discectomy removes the damaged part of a ruptured or bulging disc in your spine that may be causing neural impingement.
There are a total of twenty-three vertebral discs in your spinal column. When a disc becomes damaged the soft inner core leaks out and this can put pressure on a surrounding nerve or nerves or on the whole spinal cord, causing pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in your back, neck and legs.
Discectomy can be performed using minimally invasive or open surgery. It’s recommended if your pain isn’t relieved by non-surgical treatments such as rest, exercise, physiotherapy and medications.
Kyphoplasty is used to treat small breaks in the bone that makes up the front part of your vertebra, called vertebral body fractures. Most often this is caused by the thinning of your bones, or osteoporosis. Vertebral body fractures triggers pain and can lead to the collapse or compression of your spinal bone and cause it to shorten and curve forward.
A kyphoplasty procedure involves inserting a balloon into your vertebra using a hollow needle. The balloon is inflated to expand your compressed vertebra to its normal height. The space created is then filled using bone cement and this will stabilise the vertebra. This procedure is repeated for all vertebral body fractures.
This procedure restores the height of your vertebrae and straightens your spinal curve, relieving the pain and preventing further fractures occurring.
Vertebroplasty is a procedure to treat vertebral compression fractures most commonly due to osteoporosis.
It’s a minimally invasive surgery performed using x-ray guidance to accurately place bone cement into a partially compressed vertebra. It’s similar to kyphoplasty only without the use of a balloon.
Vertebroplasty aims to stabilise your spinal fracture and stop the pain.
Facet joint injections
Your facet joints are located on either side of your spine between neighbouring vertebrae. They provide stability to your spine as well as allowing your spine to move.
Damage to facet joints is a common reason for chronic spine pain. Facet joint injections can help reduce inflammation and irritation in these joints that’s caused by degenerative conditions such as osteoporosis. Facet joint injections can also be used as a diagnostic tool to verify if your back pain is coming from your facet joints and if you so which one.
These injections are usually given as an outpatient procedure. They contain a local anaesthetic to numb your pain and steroids to decrease swelling and inflammation.
The following Consultants specialise in back surgery at Winfield Hospital