Spinal Surgery Procedures

Payam Toobian

October 11, 2022

Spinal Surgery Procedures - Dr. Payam Toobian

Spinal surgery is a type of treatment used to repair spinal problems. It involves the joining of two or more vertebrae. The procedure can be performed at any level of the spine. The goal of spinal fusion is to prevent movement between the fused vertebrae. Some procedures include Discectomy, Laminectomy, Foraminotomy, and Posterolateral fusion.


Discectomy is a spinal surgery that removes the damaged disc from the spine. Depending on the condition, the procedure can remove part or all of the disc. The surgeon should detail the type of disc material removed in the operative report. In many cases, the doctor will also need to fill the space created by the disc with a bone substitute. Discectomy is often performed as part of spinal fusion surgery.

There are two standard surgical techniques for discectomy. The first is an open discectomy involving a large skin incision on the back. Then, the surgeon will use a microscope to dissect the skin and muscle to reach the disc. This technique is also called lumbar open microscopic discectomy. The surgeon will remove the bulging part of the disc but may not replace it with a new one. This method is not ideal for patients with severe disc degeneration and may require more extensive treatment to correct the condition.

A minimally-invasive approach to discectomy is another option. This surgery involves a small incision in the front of the neck. A guide wire is inserted into the disc near the neuroforamen, and the surgeon will gradually expand the incision by inserting a series of tiny tubes. The surgeon will then remove the disc and soft tissues surrounding it. The patient will be given local anaesthetics and mild sedation. The procedure usually takes only a few hours and can be performed on an outpatient basis.


Laminectomy is a procedure during spinal surgery in which a small portion of the lamina and ligaments are removed to free the spinal canal from pinched nerves. The procedure can also remove bone spurs and broken pieces of the spinal disc. This procedure will prevent spinal instability and eliminate pain associated with an unstable spine.

Laminectomy is performed by orthopaedic surgeons or neurosurgeons specializing in nervous system surgery. This procedure removes the back part of the vertebra to reduce pressure on the spinal nerves. The procedure can be performed on people who have suffered from a long period of back pain. Most patients can return to their normal activities within several weeks, although the time will be longer if they also undergo spinal fusion.

One of the most common reasons for lumbar laminectomy is spinal stenosis. This condition is caused by arthritic changes in the facet joints and intervertebral discs, which cause the spinal canal to narrow. These changes can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness. Some people also experience sciatica, a sharp shooting pain that runs down the back of the leg.


Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure that involves opening the nerve root at a specific location. It is typically done by making a small incision in the patient’s back, usually beside or at the level of the affected vertebra. The surgeon will then remove the disk fragments and bone, creating more room for the nerve root. After the procedure, the patient is usually discharged home or can return to work within one to three days.

There are two types of foraminotomy procedures. The most common is minimally invasive foraminotomy, performed by making a small incision on the back of the patient’s spine. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision and manoeuvres the muscles surrounding the spine to the side. Then, a small portion of bone is removed from the foramina. This allows more room for the spinal nerves, which close the incision.

The other type of foraminotomy involves cutting a small piece of bone from the back or neck to expose the affected vertebra. The surgeon uses a particular instrument to surgically widen the intervertebral foramen, which releases pressure from the nerve. This procedure is commonly performed for degenerative arthritis of the spine, in which nerves are compressed. If this happens, patients experience pain along the affected part of the spinal column. The procedure can sometimes be combined with other treatments, such as epidurals, to relieve pain.

Posterolateral fusion

A posterolateral fusion is a type of spinal surgery where a bone graft is implemented between vertebrae and discs in the back of the spine. The bone grafts will fuse with the vertebrae and spinal cord to form a strong bone bridge. The surgeon will also add screws and rods to hold vertebrae and discs in place. After the surgery, the muscles surrounding the spine are closed with stitches. The surgeon then dilates the lamina (the “roof” of the vertebra), which enables the surgeon to visualize the nerve roots. In some cases, the facet joints are also trimmed to provide more room for the spine.

After the surgery, a patient will return to the hospital for a few weeks for follow-up visits. In most cases, physical therapy is recommended between one and three months following the surgery. Patients should avoid heavy lifting, bending and twisting their upper body during this time. They should also avoid driving. What will gradually remove these restrictions as the patient heals? A full recovery can take between six months and a year.