Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Spinal Surgery - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Spinal surgery, also known as lumbar surgery, concerns any kind of surgery conducted on the lower back. There are two types of lumbar surgery: lumbar fusion and lumbar decompression.

The main objective of a lumbar decompression surgery is to ease the pain caused due to neural impingement (pinched nerve). This pain is referred to as sciatica or radiculopathy. This involves removing a tiny part of the bone above the root of the nerve to address the pinching of the nerves. The commonest types of a lumbar decompression surgery include discectomy and microdiscectomy.

Lumbar fusion concerns itself with easing the pain at a particular portion in the individual’s lower back. Mostly, this type of a surgery is carried out in the case of any disability or pain from spondylolisthesis or a lumbar degenerative disc condition. This technique uses a bone graft to thwart any type of movement in the painful part of the vertebra that in turn takes care of the pain that was caused due to the movement. Bone stimulators, bone grafts, and other medical devices are used in this surgery.

How is the treatment done?

A Lumbar Microdiscectomy is one of the most important minimally invasive surgical procedures carried out to ease pain from pinched nerves. Firstly, a minor incision is made in the patient’s lower back and the affected part (that is in contact with the pinched nerve root) is removed. It has a pretty high success rate (of about 90-95%) in alleviating pain. Often times, the patient experiences instant relief from pain. However, for some, the symptoms might not resolve completely.

A Lumbar laminectomy, on the other hand, is performed to address lower back stenosis symptoms. In this technique, the lamina (the bone that is present at the back of one’s vertebra) at one or multiple segments is taken out that in turn prevents any further pressure to be put on the nerves in the spine.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Spinal surgery is carried out because:

  • Spinal fusion can be performed independently or in combination with the surgery to remedy tissues and bones which might be narrowing down the spine canal and thus squeezing the nerves of the spine or the spinal cord in itself.
  • It can also be done as part of a follow-up post any surgery to address conditions such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, infection, tumors, and injuries.
  • Can be performed to treat problems such as fractures.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There is no non-eligibility criterion as such. If the patient experiences pain from a pinched nerve or spinal instability, he/she should consult a spine surgeon and consider the decision of a spinal surgery. However, if any evidence of an anatomic cause isn’t detected through a CT scan or an MRI scan, then spinal surgery should be avoided. In a nutshell, there must be some anatomical lesion that can be considered to be the reason behind such a pain. At the end of the day, however, it is completely the patient’s discretion whether or not to go for spinal surgery.

Are there any side effects?

The possible side effects and complications depend on the patient’s age, the overall state of health, the type of procedure opted for and the problem that is being treated. Some of the possible side effects are:

  • Pain emanating from the site of the bone graft
  • Breakage of the metal implants and/or weakening of the fusion
  • Blood clots that could result in pulmonary embolism
  • Injury to the nerves
  • Infection
  • Rejection of the bone graft by the body

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the spinal surgery, the patient will be kept under supervision for a few days. If the patient is recuperating at home, bed rest would not be required. A back brace might be prescribed by the doctor for you so as to speed up the recovery process. Rehabilitation post-surgery can take its own time. Usually walking, swimming and riding a static cycle are some of the activities that constitute the rehabilitation program.

How long does it take to recover?

Post spinal surgery, recovery can take about 4 months’ time. This is because the bones take the time to heal completely and the healing process may continue over a period of one year. In the case of a spinal fusion, the doctor will recommend one to be off work and other activities for about a month or even more (approximately 4-5 weeks); especially if the patient is young and is in otherwise good physical shape.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of spinal surgery in India lies in the range of approximately Rs.4, 22,500- Rs.6, 17,500.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Spinal surgery is important to render stability to the spine after any trauma, accident or injury. However, there isn’t sufficient research about whether it works as effectively for other problems of the spine as well. Studies have failed to come up with stark differences in the way this surgery and intense rehabilitation would work for chronic problems. Though it does provide relief from quite a few problems with the back, it will always be wise to consult with the doctor regarding the risks and benefits, given that it is a costly surgery and entails its fair share of side effects.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The possible alternatives include:

  • IDET
  • Posterior dynamic stabilization
  • Artificial disc
  • Disc regeneration
Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: Medium Price Range: Rs. 4,22,500 - Rs. 6,17,500

Popular Health Tips

Spinal Cord Injury - Tips To Help You Recover!

Dr. Pradyot Kumar Govil 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Mch - Neuro Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Ghaziabad
Spinal Cord Injury - Tips To Help You Recover!
A spinal cord injury involves damage to the spinal cord either from trauma, loss of the normal blood supply, or compression caused by a tumor or infection. These injuries can either be complete; wherein there is a complete loss of sensation and muscle function in the body, below the level of the injury or incomplete; wherein there is some remaining function below the level of the injury. In most cases, both sides of the body are affected equally. Classification of the spinal cord injuries High-cervical: It involves the topmost vertebrae in the spinal column, which can result in partial or full paralysis if the spinal cord is severed. Low-cervical: Damage to this area can affect the function of the upper limbs. Thoracic: It involves the center of the spinal column; damage to this area can impact the muscles and nerves of the trunk. Lumbar: It is the commonest site of lower back pain; damage to this area can affect the lower back and limbs. Sacral: Any trauma to the tailbone can cause damage to the nerves in the sacral part of the spine. Several cases of spinal cord injury are treated with surgery. The two major goals of surgery involve relieving the pressure on the spinal cord and stabilizing the spine. Quick recovery from spinal cord injuries Damage to the spinal cord often causes inflammation of the surrounding tissues. A smooth and quick recovery can be achieved by promptly addressing the inflammation post-injury. Following tips can help regain a normal range of motion, promote fast healing, and eliminate pain: Cold therapy: One of the best ways to treat inflammation is with cold application. The lower temperature causes constriction of blood vessels, which reduces the flow of blood to the injured area and helps control swelling. Additionally, a reduced body temperature around an injury slows down cellular metabolism and cell death, minimizing the amount of tissue repair required. Also, pain reduction by a brief deadening of nerve endings and lessening sensation in the affected area is achieved with cold application. Ample rest: Overexertion has to be avoided during the recovery period to ensure that the body gets a lot of rest. Adequate rest needs to be supplemented with a healthy diet to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs for healing. Physical therapy: Physical therapy is an important component of fast recovery in a spinal cord injury. Gentle strengthening and stretching exercises will help an individual regain range of motion, improve flexibility, and build the surrounding muscles to support the spine. It is advised to work closely with a physical therapist and follow their instructions for better results.
3082 people found this helpful

Your Path To Recovery After A Spinal Surgery!

Dr. Phani Kiran 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
Your Path To Recovery After A Spinal Surgery!
As with any surgery, spinal surgery can be a significant undertaking. But if you are considering the option, you ought to know that people who had undergone a spine surgery not only get to move around a lot better than before but also becomes more physically fit. So, if your doctor recommends it, you can very well opt for it. And with proper care and following specific dos and don'ts such as those mentioned below can ensure a speedy recovery. Phase I: One-week Post operation Right after the spine surgery, it is very normal to have pain. However, in the majority of spine surgery cases, the patients can get up and walk, but only if advised by the doctor. During the stay in the hospital, which generally is around a week, the rehabilitation process consists of managing pain, wound care and getting out of and in the bed without twisting the spine. Phase II: First month after discharge Once, you are discharged from the hospital, the rehabilitation process at home typically include various movements and stretching exercises, prescribed by your doctor, and wound care again to prevent the risk of an infection. This first month at home can help you both recover as well as to prepare your body for getting back to daily activities slowly. Phase III: Resuming daily activities Patients are often suggested to opt for physical therapy for a speedy recovery which should be continued for around three months once released from the hospital. In this phase, after consulting with your orthopedic, you can start resuming your regular activities, starting with taking short walks, doing back strengthening exercises and doing light works. Remember, don t try to lift heavy object until unless your doctor allows you to. Some posture precautions to follow: Certain posture precautions can play a crucial role, at least for the first six weeks. Sitting on a sturdy chair is highly recommended as it can ensure a good posture and spending too much time in any particular position such as sitting or standing for long is a strict no-no. Plus, when sitting make sure your knees stay below the height of your hips. Forcing your body for performing any extreme motion, such as twisting the spine too much for turning or bending forward at the waist should also be avoided. Instead, make it a practice to turn your entire body when turning back at something and bend your knees and hips but not your waist when lifting something. Depending on one s general health, musculoskeletal status and the type of spine surgery undergone, the recovery time may vary from person to person. However, following the necessary health care tips and precautions suggested by your orthopedic can undoubtedly ensure a fast and complete recovery.

Spinal Compression Fracture - How It Can Be Treated?

Spine and Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Hyderabad
Spinal Compression Fracture - How It Can Be Treated?
What is spinal compression fracture? Spinal compression fractures are getting frequent due to the many lifestyle changes which we undergo. The body should not be made to be put use in a certain way like posture, lifting heavy weights, etc. However, prolonged and repeated usage affects the spine directly and results in compression fractures. Though the condition looks, gratifying, modern science has advanced to levels where the fractures can be addressed very effectively, and the pain symptoms can be eradicated almost completely. Let us have a summary about the treatment methods. The treatment The treatment plan of any spinal compression fracture should effectively highlight the pain, the factors leading to the pain and lastly the fracture itself. Our body has been designed in such a way that the spine can withstand an amount of pressure and force. As a result of it, it is one of the strongest parts of the human body. Hence most the fractures heal with pain medications and strength exercises. These activities can be embraced as a permanent one- thus eradicating the pain altogether. Pain killers are administered gradually for a few weeks along with rest and once the pain subsidises strength exercises are imparted as a part of the treatment plan. In few cases, anti-inflammatory drugs and antidepressants can also help in relieving the nerve related pain. A back brace like an easily removable cast can also be put when doing the usual activities. This, directly stiffness the spine and provides it with support. The pressure to the spine can be greatly relieved due to the back brace. Surgery for Spinal compression fractures As stated, most of the spinal pain can go away with certain lifestyle changes and medications. However, in some extreme cases even after putting all the effort the pain does not go, then a surgical treatment has to be performed to correct the fractures. There are two minimally invasive procedures namely Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty and one complicated procedure known medically as the Spinal fusion surgery. In vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, bone cement is spread across in layers to the affected region. These blocks of cement have a tendency to get strong in a matter of minutes, thus relieving the pressure immediately. Spinal fusion surgery is done in extremely rare cases where two or more vertebras are connected together using metal screws. Sometimes even a bone graft is affixed to provide support to the fractured region. Doctors, however, do not go for it usually as the procedure causes extreme inconvenience even after the treatment. Prevention Spinal compressions are a frequent occurrence nowadays, and as good physician would suggest prevention is better than cure. Making the much-needed changes to life and the activities we perform can drastically reduce the chances of getting a spinal compression fracture.
6 people found this helpful

Spinal Cord Tumors - 5 Things You Must Know!

Dr. Amit Kumar Ghosh 88% (130 ratings)
MBBS, DNB, Fellowship In Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Kolkata
Spinal Cord Tumors - 5 Things You Must Know!
There is hardly any individual who hasn't suffered from back pain at some point or the other, and lower back pain is considered one of the prime factors for which people might want to miss a day of work. The source of the pain could range from herniated disk to muscle spasm to osteoarthritis. What s worse, it could be benign or cancerous spine tumor. Even though spinal cord tumors are quite rare, when it occurs, it could be life-threatening. If caught early, it is possible to treat spine disorders effectively and therefore, it pays to know a few important facts about spinal cord tumors. Back pain is the most common symptom: When it comes to spine tumors, regardless of whether they are cancerous or non-cancerous, you cannot afford to ignore back pain. This is because the tumor causes pain by pressing against the spinal cord or destroying the bone. It is crucial to note that such type of back pain tend to linger even while you are resting at night. Pain that radiates to other parts of the body as well: When spine tumors are the culprit for back pain, it can radiate towards the arms or lower back rather than improving with time. Spinal cord tumors can lead to other symptoms: There is no reason to believe that when you have spinal cord tumors, then you will only suffer from a debilitating back pain. You may also suffer from reduced sensitivity to pain, difficulty in walking, loss of sensation and muscle weakness. You may also notice that you have a decreased sensation to heat and cold as well. People who have previously suffered from cancer are at a high risk: Individuals who had cancer particularly, breast, lung, kidney, prostate, and thyroid should be extra careful about their health in general. You should regularly monitor the symptoms of spine tumors since you are at a higher risk of developing it. It is found that in about 60 to 70 percent of the cases, cancer occurring in other parts of the body either metastasizes or spreads to the spinal cord. There are ways other than surgery to remove spinal tumors: A biopsy would be able to tell whether the tumor is malignant or benign. A biopsy is a process which involves removal of a small tissue sample and also examining it with the help of a microscope. But it is important to note here that all spinal tumors do not require an immediate removal through surgery. Sometimes, all you will need is a regular monitoring for detecting if there is any change. This is commonly chosen when the spinal tumors are small and benign. Not always your back pain is a sign of spinal cord tumor. However, in the case of a persistent back pain along with other symptoms, a doctor s opinion must be sought.
3576 people found this helpful

Spine Tuberculosis - Catch It Early To Avoid Serious Disability!

Dr. Phani Kiran 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
Spine Tuberculosis - Catch It Early To Avoid Serious Disability!
Tuberculosis is widely known as a disease that affects the lungs. Tuberculosis is an infection caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although most commonly the lungs and bowel are affected, it can affect any organ in the body including the bones and joints . How and who: Tubercular bacteria usually enter the body through the airway into lungs or through the gut and spread out to different areas of the body through the blood stream, spine being the most common area. They can stay dormant in the body for many years and start multiplying when the immunity goes down due to any reason. So those with reduced immunity like young kids, old age group, diabetics, those on steroid medication or other immune-suppressive medication are at a high risk of developing tuberculosis of various organs. Patients affected with HIV are also at high risk of developing tubercular infection. But it is not uncommon to see a healthy young person affected with tuberculosis of spine. Disease manifestations: Spine is one of the very common structures affected by tuberculosis, leading to significant disability and high risk of paralysis if undetected in the early stages. As the bones in the spine get destroyed by the disease, the spine bends abnormally at the affected level and a deformity develops. There is pus formation at the affected area which can cause compression on the spinal cord and nerves in the spinal canal and lead to paralysis of limbs and loss of bowel and bladder control. Tuberculosis of spine can affect all age groups from infancy to old age. Spine tuberculosis initially causes pain in the back/neck, which gets worse on movements and while changing posture. Night pains that wake the patient up from sleep is another characteristic feature. Fever, weight loss and loss of appetite are usually associated. Weakness of limb muscles can lead to unstable gait and tendency to fall and the patient usually seeks a support to hold on to while walking. Diagnosis and treatment: With MRI being available widely, spinal tuberculosis is being detected at early stages now as compared to X-rays. Most of them can be cured well by anti-tubercular medication (ATT). The medication needs to be taken for a long duration (minimum of 6 months - upto 18 months). Drug resistance is a serious problem needing second line medicines and is more difficult to treat. There are special tests like Gene Xpert available now to detect multiple drug resistant tuberculosis. In some patients with deformity in spine or those with spinal cord compression causing paralysis, surgery to stabilise the spine and decompress the spinal cord/nerves is required. Surgical treatment in right time can prevent spinal deformity/paralysis and help in faster and better recovery of muscle power in those who have developed paralysis. So, any persistent back pain needs an evaluation by a Spine physician.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

79 years has been diagnosed with Lung cancer (NSCLC) Adenocarcinoma & Metastatic Spinal Compression too for D9 & D10 vertebrae. Please advise whether Chemotherapy is to be given to him first or Surgery for Spinal Compression is to be done first? He is bedridden currently due to severe pain in the spine. His Spinal MRI & Lung scans are attached for your ready reference in this app under X-ray. Kindly advise asap.

Dr. Ninad Katdare 90% (167 ratings)
Registrar in Surgical Oncology, Fellowship in Gynaecologic Oncology, Masters In Advanced Oncology, Fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and robotic surgery, Fellowship in Gastrointestinal Oncology, Fellowship in CRS and HIPEC, Fellowship in PIPAC
Oncologist, Mumbai
If the spinal compression is causing symptoms like weakness of arms and legs, then surgery is needed first as failing that the paralysis will worsen. Once he recovers from that, we can immediately start the chemo. For adenocarcinoma we also have lot of targeted chemotherapy oral medicines which can be given, so ask you Oncologist to do tests for those if not already done.
2 people found this helpful

After my spinal surgery (Interlaminar micro-lumber disectomy) two month back. I was feeling tingling in left arm, I had enquired with my doctor and he said spinal surgery has nothing to do with left hand tingling. Now tingling has gone but I feel numbness and sometimes weakness. Please advise if its a temporary and can be treated at home?

Dr. Sunil Srivastava 89% (502 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho)
Orthopedist, Lucknow
Hi You are on right medicine.just try some local massage, vivaran gel application of affected area and neck, hot fomentation and neurobion forte once daily
2 people found this helpful

Health Quizzes

How To Recover From Spinal Cord Injury?

MCh - Neurosurgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Chennai
After a spinal cord injury and even after the recovery, a person should be extra careful about their health. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
Start Quiz
87 people took this quiz

Popular Health Packages

14 Days validity  •  Medicines included
30 Days validity  •  Medicines included