Facts about the Basic Types of Back Surgery

Back pain and discomfort is something many of us experience occasionally, but when the pain becomes constant and more extreme, it can be unbearable. Insight offers various types of back surgery to help alleviate pain, as well as a support system that can improve patients’ quality of life.

When you choose Insight for your back surgery, we can explain the source of your symptoms, provide treatment, and offer suggestions for future self-care. In the meantime, identifying the potential source of your back problems and understanding what your back surgery may entail can help alleviate some of your concerns. Following is basic, general information that may answer some of your questions.

3 Main Types of Back Surgery

Spinal Fusion
A spinal fusion fuses together two or more vertebrae in your spine so that they heal into a single bone. This process can reduce pain and help stabilize the spine. Prior to determining if you need back surgery, your doctor will likely order a CT scan or MRI.

Spinal fusion surgery may be recommended if you have:

  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Fractured vertebra
  • Herniated disk

A laminectomy is the surgical removal of the posterior arch of a vertebra (the lamina) in order to relieve compression of a nerve root. This procedure creates extra space that can reduce pressure on the spine. The surgeon may also remove bone spurs that put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

A diskectomy is the surgical removal of a damaged disk in your spine. A herniated disk occurs when material inside the disk pushes through a crack in the exterior. Surgery may be necessary because a herniated disk places pressure on the spine, leading to nerve weakness and pain.

Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Surgical procedures are typically recommended only after physical therapy, self-care, and lifestyle changes do not resolve the symptoms. Physical therapy is available at our Insight location in Flint, Michigan.

While the above includes common types of back surgery, it is not a definitive list of procedures that can be completed here at our surgery center in Warren. Our staff is here to assist surgeons in providing patients with health care solutions efficiently and with a warm, compassionate touch.

Patients and physicians who wish to obtain more information may visit the Insight website, send us a message online, or call us at (586) 427-1000.