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Surgery » Back Surgery

Back Surgery

Back Surgery: Introduction

Laminectomy is back surgery that includes the surgical removal of all or part of the laminae (sections of the vertebrae that surround the spinal cord). This surgery is performed to gain access to the spinal cord to remove tumors, treat injuries to the spine, relieve pressure on a nerve, or to implant, revise or reposition a catheter to administer medication using an external pump....more »

Medical Costs Report

Surgery Costs Report for Back Surgery

Back Surgery: Related Terms

Other medical terms related to medical conditions and procedures for Back Surgery include:

Back Surgery: Overview

What is Back Surgery? In most cases, back pain does not require surgery. However, for those with specific conditions surgery may be an option. There are a number of different types of back surgery. They include:

  • Laminectomy - This procedure involves the removal of the lamina, the bone that overlays the spinal canal. A laminectomy enlarges the spinal canal in order to relieve nerve pressure caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal. Osteoarthritis can cause the narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Discectomy - A discectomy involves removing an intervertebral disc that has herniated. Intervertebral discs are connective tissue between the vertebrae that act as cushions. A herniated disc occurs when some of the discs jelly-like center bulges or ruptures through its tough, fibrous outer layer and press upon a nerve often causing radiating pain down the leg called sciatica.
  • Spinal fusion - In this operation, two or more vertebrae are joined together to increase stability in the spine. The vertebrae are joined using bone grafts, rods, and screws to stabilize the spine and eliminate painful motion.
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Profile: Patient Candidates for Back Surgery

Who are candidates for Back Surgery? Most back pain is treated with conservative non-surgical measures first. When those measures fail, you and your doctor can decide if surgery is right for you. Surgery may be indicated for those who have:

  • A herniated disc
  • A vertebral fracture
  • Spinal stenosis - a narrowing of the spinal column due to overgrowth of bone caused by osteoarthritis.
  • Spondylolisthesis - a condition in which the vertebrae are unstable and slip out of place.
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Back Surgery: Treatment Options

What are alternatives to Back Surgery? Most back problems respond to non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications, ice, heat, massage, and physical therapy. Some back problems may be treated by epidural steroid injections which reduce inflammation and compression of the nerves that cause the sciatica....more »

Back Surgery: Preparing for Surgery

How do you prepare for Back Surgery? Prior to any surgery, your doctor will give you a complete medical examination and evaluate your overall health and your health history. You may be required to get additional tests such as X-rays and lab tests. Your doctor will also review with you the potential risks and benefits of the operation and will ask you to sign a consent form. It is important that you ask questions and be sure you understand the reason for the surgery as well as the risks.

It is important that you inform your doctor if you have allergies to any medications, what medications you are taking, and if you have bleeding problems. It is also important to inform your doctor if you are pregnant.

Your doctor will also give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.

Depending on the circumstances of your surgery, you may be instructed to do the following:

  • Completely empty your colon and cleanse your intestines prior to surgery. You may be requested to drink clear liquids only for one or several days prior to surgery.
  • Stop eating or drinking after midnight the night before the operation except medications that your doctor has told you are permissible to take with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
  • Plan for your care and recovery after the operation. Find someone to drive you home after the surgery. Allow for time to rest and try to find people to help you with your day-to-day duties.
  • Stop smoking at least six to eight weeks prior to surgery as smoking delays wound healing. Smokers are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery.
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Back Surgery: Recovery After Surgery

What is the Back Surgery recovery process? Pain management after surgery is an important part of the recovery process - both from a physical and emotional standpoint. Frequent ice application (especially in the first 48 to 72 hours) can ease pain as well as comfortable clothing and good body positioning. Heat may also aid in pain management. You should try to get continuous, uninterrupted sleep because it helps the body to heal faster. Appropriate exercise and stretching can significantly enhance the recovery process and decrease the chances of future episodes of pain. Ask your surgeon if a back brace will be needed after surgery and if so, what style. In addition, to improve your recovery, you should:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid drinking excess alcohol
  • Use lumbar support, ergonomic chairs, and correct posture for back support
  • Avoid sitting for prolonged periods
  • Achieve a healthy weight
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Drink plenty of water
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Back Surgery: Costs of Surgery

What is the cost of Back Surgery? A variety of factors may influence the cost of the surgery. They include:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Pre-existing health
  • Insurance co-pay
  • Location of the facility

The cost of each procedure can vary dramatically based upon age, location, gender, and insurance coverage. HealthGrades provides detailed cost estimates which include the costs of the procedure, drugs, hospital stay, and more. Each cost estimate is easy to understand and provides medical terms you need to know.

The detailed cost estimate for Back Surgery, includes costs for:

  • Implantation, revision or repositioning of a catheter for long-term medication administration via external pump with laminectomy
  • Removal of part of a vertebra to relieve pressure on the nerve root(s) in the upper, middle or lower back (thoracic, lumbar and cervical)
  • Removal of part of a vertebra to relieve pressure on nerves in the back, and/or removal of a herniated disk
  • Removal of part of a vertebra and all or part of a herniated disk
  • Removal of part of a vertebra in the upper, middle or lower back
  • Removal of disk to relieve pressure on spinal cord and/or nerve root(s)
  • Removal of part of a vertebra and incision of ligaments
  • Removal of part of a vertebra and incision of nerves in the spinal cord
  • and Removal of an area of damaged tissue on a vertebra.

Surgery Cost Report for Back Surgery

Back Surgery: Find a Surgeon or Specialist

Where can I find a Back Surgery doctor or surgeon? Back Surgery is typically performed by doctors specializing in Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Surgery. Nationally, there are 33144 practicing Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons. HealthGrades offers detailed physician reports to help you find a qualified Back Surgery doctor or surgeon in your area, which includes disciplinary actions, patient feedback, background information, and more. Start your search now!

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