Non Operative Treatment
Medications, physical therapy or spinal cortisone injections are indicated for pain relief. Surgery can be considered for those who do not improve.
This surgical procedure involves removing all or portions of the lamina, removing bone spurs and/or enlarging foramina to relieve pressure or compression on the nerve roots or spinal cord. This pressure is often the cause of the pain.
Decompression & Posterolateral Fusion
Often times, in addition to a decompression, your surgeon will perform an instrumented posterolateral fusion by inserting a series of screws and rods coupled with the placement of bone graft. This fusion provides increased spinal stability.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
The surgical approach is from the front of the abdomen. Once the exposure is made, surgical instruments are used to remove the disc material causing the nerve compression. Once this material is removed, an interbody cage or bone spacer is placed at the disc site filled with bone graft. The vertebral bodies above and below are frequently put under compression to aid in the subsequent spinal fusion.
Posterior Transforaminal Interbody Fusion
The same procedure as the ALIF but the approach and exposure are performed from the back. Just as in an ALIF, the disc material is removed and an interbody device is inserted. Compression through the use of pedicle screws is frequently achieved to aid in fusion.
This is the removal of the spinal disc, and replacement with an artificial prosthesis.
For more information on Degenerative Disc Disease, visit UnderstandSpineSurgery.com.