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Types of Surgeries

What is a forminotomy?

The foraminotomy is a decompression surgery like a laminectomy, but rather than removing the entire lamina, the surgery opens just the narrowing passageway through which the nerve roots pass from the spinal cord to the body. The indications are similar to that of the laminectomy, but the foraminotomy is a less invasive procedure.

What is a spinal fusion?

A fusion is a procedure used to correct problems associated with instability of the vertebrae of the spine. It is designed to eliminate motion by connecting two or more vertebrae together, and can be performed on either low back or neck.

Why is a fusion done?

A fusion is typically recommended when there is instability of the spine leading to pain. It may help eliminate symptoms caused by stenosis, fracture, infection, a tumor, or in some cases degenerative disc disease. A fusion may be done from the front, called an ‘anterior fusion,’ or from the back, called a ‘posterior fusion.' Recent advances have led to lateral interbody fusions and interlaminar lumbar-instrumented fusions, which are less invasive procedures.

Why is a disc replacement done?

Total disc replacement is often done in place of an instrumented fusion in the neck. The ‘disc’ is made of material that allows for normal movement in the disc that has been replaced. While a traditional fusion ‘welds’ two neck vertebrae together, the artificial disc permits more normal motion between two vertebrae after the disc in the neck has been removed.

What is a vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty or khypoplasty is an outpatient procedure designed to relieve pain of patients with a vertebral compression fraction. This fracture causes the vertebrae to partially collapse and leads to instability and pain.

Why is a vertebroplasty done?

The surgery is done to restore stability to the partially collapsed vertebrae. It has been shown to be safe and provide a 90% reduction in pain.

What is knee replacement?

Knee joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which certain parts of an arthritic or damaged knee joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis, or artificial joint. The artificial joint is designed to move just like a normal, healthy joint and allows you to get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities without pain.

How "bad" does my joint pain have to get before I should consider having joint replacement?

This is a very personal decision that only you can make with the help of an orthopaedic specialist's evaluation of your pain and its effects on your daily life. For example, experiencing knee pain day after day without relief can lead to "staying off" the joint - which often weakens the muscles around it, so it becomes even more difficult to move. When other more conservative treatment options - including medication and physical therapy - no longer provide pain relief, joint replacement may be recommended.

What is minimally invasive knee replacement surgery?

With a minimally invasive knee surgery, specialized techniques and instrumentation enable the physician to perform major surgery without as large an incision. In this respect, it is indeed "minimally invasive," requiring a smaller incision and causing less trauma to the soft tissues. MIS knee replacement is considered a step forward in total knee replacement for a number of reasons, which include the following: potential for a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, and less scarring. However, MIS surgery is not the right procedure for everyone. Only your orthopaedic specialist can determine its benefits for you.

Are there risks associated with minimally invasive surgery (MIS)?

The MIS knee replacement technique is significantly less invasive than conventional knee replacement surgery, but it is still a major surgery. As with any major surgical procedure, patients who undergo total joint replacement are at risk for certain complications, the vast majority of which can be successfully avoided and/or treated.


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