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Surgical Options

Surgical Options

Surgical Options

When it comes to having surgery to treat your back or spine condition, quality care counts. At the PinnacleHealth Spine Institute, our commitment to quality is evident in our outcomes—our patients experience some of the lowest infection rates in the nation, and 80 percent of our patients maintain functional improvement for at least 12 months after treatment. 

Advanced Surgical Care

Our board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons, spine surgeons and orthopedic surgeons are among the most experienced in the region, performing more than 1,600 back and spine procedures each year using the most advanced minimally invasive and robotic techniques. There are significant benefits to these state-of-the-art procedures, including:

  • Less blood loss
  • Faster healing
  • Reduced damage to the surrounding muscles
  • Decreased pain
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Decreased need for narcotic pain medicine

Because incisions made during robot-assisted surgery are typically smaller than those made during traditional surgery, the incisions can often be sealed using surgical glue to minimize scarring.

Personalized Patient Care

Our surgical team includes specially trained nurse navigators, who will provide you with the information and support you need before and after your surgery. We will also coordinate any after-care you may need, including inpatient rehabilitation, home-based services or outpatient physical therapy.

Innovative Techniques

The surgeons at the PinnacleHealth Spine Institute are highly trained in the latest, most innovative surgical techniques to help you heal faster and return more quickly to living a normal, pain-free life. Procedures include:

  • Artificial surgical disc surgery. The vertebrae are cushioned along the spine with gel-like discs that allow the spine to move without causing discomfort. Wear and tear can damage these discs, leading to degenerative disc disease, a condition that causes chronic back pain. Surgical disc replacement involves removing the damaged disc and replacing it with materials that mimic the motion of your natural disc.
  • Spinal fusion surgery. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to permanently join together two or more vertebrae in the spine so there is no movement between them. This approach is most often used to eliminate pain caused by injury, fractures, spinal stenosis, spinal instability or degenerative disc disease.
  • Cervical spinal fusion surgery. This procedure is performed to relieve pain caused by herniated discs or bone spurs in the cervical spine, the seven bones in the neck that make up the top portion of the spinal column. Specific procedures include anterior cervical discectomy fusion and posterior cervical fusion. 
  • Kyphoplasty. This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat spine fractures caused by osteoporosis. A small balloon is inserted into the fracture using X-ray guidance. When inflated, the balloon gently raises the collapsed vertebra back to its normal position while also compressing the soft inner bone to create a void inside the vertebra. After deflating the balloon, the surgeon injects bone cement into the cavity, which helps to harden and stabilize the vertebra.
  • Laminectomy. A laminectomy may be recommended if you are experiencing painful pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, often from a herniated disc or bony growths within the spinal canal. During a laminectomy a section of bone called the lamina is removed from one or more vertebrae through a small incision, relieving pressure and reducing or eliminating pain. A hemilaminectomy is a similar, more invasive procedure to remove the lamina.
  • Laminotomy. Patients with bone spurs, spinal arthritis, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, and herniated or bulging discs may be candidates for a laminotomy. The procedure relieves pressure on the spinal canal by removing the ligamentum flavum, a ligament in the back that can thicken, causing the spinal cord to compress.
  • Discectomy. Disc fragments from a herniated disc can cause back pain and nerve pressure. In a discectomy, a small incision is made in the lamina, or the back part of the vertebra, to gain access to and remove the fragments, relieving pressure on the nerve. When performed using a special microscope to view the disc and nerves, this procedure is called a microdiscectomy. It allows the surgeon to make a smaller incision due to the improved visibility provided by the microscope.
  • Microdisectomy. Microdisectomy is also known as Microdecompression spine surgery is used to treat herniated cervical, thoracic and lumbar disc. It involves removing a small portion of the bone from under the nerve root over through a small incision. This allows for more room for the nerve to heal.
  • Foraminotomy. Foraminal spinal stenosis occurs when there is narrowing around the openings through which nerves leave the spinal column, resulting in painful pressure. In a foraminotomy, some of the bone is cut to widen the nerve root opening. Your surgeon may also remove disc fragments and other problematic bone at the back of the vertebra.
  • Lumbar spinal fusion surgery. Lumbar spinal fusion is surgery to join, or fuse, two or more vertebrae in the lower back using a bone graft or metal implants. Spinal fusion can relieve pain caused by degenerative disc disease and may be recommended as a treatment for chronic lower back pain. Specific procedures include extreme lateral interbody fusion, anterior lumbar interbody fusion, posterior lumbar interbody fusion and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.
  • Spinal cord stimulator (SCS). Also known as a dorsal column stimulator, this procedure involves implanting a device under the skin that sends a mild, low-voltage electric current to the spinal cord. SCS is often used to block the feeling or pain in patients who have not found relief with other pain management therapies or who need to decrease the use of pain medications.
  • Sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion. SI joint fusion stabilizes the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis using implants. SI joint fusion is used to treat low back or leg pain caused by SI joint instability or other types of dysfunction.
  • Interspinous process decompression (IPD). IPD is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat pain and pressure caused by spinal stenosis by placing an implant called a spacer between your spinous processes, the thin, bony projections on the back of the spine. This procedure is often performed as an alternative to other decompression spine surgeries, such as a laminectomy, which involves removing a section of bone.
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). ACDF is a procedure that removes a cervical herniated disc through the front of the neck. After the disc is removed a graft is inserted and fused to the bones. 
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery relieves pressure on the spinal nerves by removing portions of bone or herniated disc. In these procedures, specialized instruments are used to access the spine through small incisions.

If you are considering surgical options to relieve your back or spine pain, you can trust the experts at the PinnacleHealth Spine Institute to provide state-of-the-art care. With our expert team of providers in central Pennsylvania, we are a short drive for residents of Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Lemoyne, Camp Hill and other surrounding areas.
 

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