Coping With Spinal Conditions That Call for Surgery

There’s a lot you can do to calm the mind and body. Yoga is the perfect example. Millions of people around the world experience the many health benefits of yoga on a daily basis. However, for people who suffer from spinal conditions yoga doesn’t bring relief.

Balance, muscle strengthening, and cardio don’t come easily to a person with a spinal condition. Too often people suffer and try to manage the pain on their own, which can cause additional physical, mental and emotional damage.

No one wants to hear that they need spinal surgery. But for many spinal conditions, surgery is the only way to get back to feeling like yourself. If you’ve been dealing with spinal issues find out if surgery is an option worth considering.

Spinal Cord Compression

When the spine and spinal nerves are compressed it indicates a serious problem. The condition happens because something, usually a bone, is pressing on the spinal cord. However, in some cases, spinal cord compression is caused by a tumor.

Spinal cord compression should be addressed immediately since the condition can lead to loss of neurological function if it goes untreated. The possibility of cancer also warrants immediate attention. Today there are three primary types of spinal decompression surgery that can be used including microsurgical techniques that are less invasive.

During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will remove a small segment of bone from the spinal canal to relieve the pressure. If a tumor is present removal is necessary to both relieve the pressure and perform a biopsy.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is another condition that can put pressure on the nerves within the spine. The condition occurs when the spinal canal narrows. The narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and ultimately the nerves within it.

The areas most affected by spinal stenosis are the neck and lower back. People with the condition will usually feel numbness, muscle weakness, and pain in the affected area. In mild cases, physical therapy and medication are used to alleviate symptoms. If the condition doesn’t improve or is severe, spinal decompression surgery is needed to avoid permanent damage, including paralysis.

Herniated Discs

The spine has rubbery vertebral discs between each of the vertebra that act as a cushion. The discs keep the bones from rubbing against one another and hold the spine together. If a disc slips out of place, tears or ruptures it’s a condition known as spinal disc herniation (herniated disc).

Sometimes the condition creates no symptoms at all. Other times it can impact the nerves and create pain, weakness and/or numbness in the limbs.

Herniated discs can be treated with medication, physical therapy, and surgery. One of the most common surgical procedure to correct a herniated disc is the discectomy. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will make an incision near the affected area. They will then remove the portion of the disc that is putting pressure on the nerves or the entire disc.

Spinal Arthritis

Spinal arthritis occurs when the cartilage between the joints of the spine break down. The condition can also affect discs causing them to slip out of place. The effects of spinal arthritis can cause a number of problems in the neck, back or extremities including pain, tingling, and numbness.

In serious cases where spinal arthritis affects basic daily activity surgery may be recommended. During surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will analyze what is putting pressure on the spine to correct the issue. This can include the removal of bone tissue and disc materials.

Bone Spurs in the Spine

When there’s an outgrowth of bone it’s called a bone spur. The outgrowths (osteophytes) can occur on any bone, typically around the joints. Getting bone spurs in the heel or knee is fairly common. In some cases, they can also form in the spine.

Bone spurs in the spine can develop due to arthritis, compounding the symptoms that are felt by that condition. The Spurs can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves causing pain and numbness. The same surgical procedures that are used to correct spinal arthritis are utilized for bone spurs. In fact, bone spurs are commonly found and removed during spinal arthritis surgery.

About Lilly McKinlay

Lilly McKinlay

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