What are Common Surgical Procedures for Back and Spinal Cord Injuries?

Our New York City orthopedic back surgeons have extensive experience

Deciding if you need back and spine surgery can be a very difficult decision. There are so many procedures to choose from and, given how high the stakes often are when it comes to back surgery, which procedure is the right one for you? Who should you trust to perform your operation?

We get it at Island Musculoskeletal Care (IMC Bone Doc). That’s why our New York orthopedic back surgeons are eager to meet with you and earn your trust. We can explain the different options available to you. We know what to do because we’ve been doing this work for decades. Our doctors have more than 100 years of combined medical experience dealing with a wide range of back and spinal cord injury medical procedures.

Spinal cord surgery can change your life. Take your back or spinal cord injury seriously right from the start. Make an appointment with IMC Bone Doc right away. Many of our surgeons have same day appointments available.

All seven of our offices have advanced diagnostic equipment, including an MRI machine in each office. That way, we can diagnose what’s wrong right away, and if possible, we will do everything we can to provide all your all your medical care in the same convenient location.

Types of surgical procedures available for back or spinal cord injuries

Surgical procedures can cover a wide range for spinal cord injuries and back injuries. Some of the most common – and sometimes even most complicated – surgical procedures we perform on spinal cord injuries include:

Surgery is often just the first step on your road to recovery. After your surgical procedure, you may still be in pain while you’re recovering. We can help. Our surgeons and fellow medical staff members have extensive experience dealing with pain management issues. If necessary, our doctors can prescribe pain medications to ease your recovery.

If you need physical therapy afterwards, we have you covered, as well. Each one of our seven offices has a licensed physical therapist, who can explain different exercises and guide you through your physical rehabilitation program.

Learn more about surgical procedures for back pain or spinal cord injuries

Take the first step towards your recovery. Contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. You can make an appointment online or call 1-888-BONE-DOC (266-3362). Best of all, our medical practice is in-network and accepts most forms of insurance. As a result, your medical insurance may cover all your medical expenses.

Our staff members know how to deal with insurance companies, including dealing with work-related back or spine injuries. If your got hurt on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may cover all your medical expenses.

Cut through the red tape. Get the answers you want from doctors you can trust. Meet with a New York orthopedic back surgeon at IMC Bone Doc right away. We’re the ones you want operating on you when it matters most.

What is a cervical disc replacement?

This type of spinal surgery is an alternative to cervical spine fusion surgery. In this case, an artificial disc replaces the damaged cervical discs, which are bones located near the neck region of the spine. This type of spinal cord surgery is usually done after more conservative medical treatments have not relieved severe neck pain or stiffness.

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What is a thoracic discectomy?

This surgical procedure involves removing damaged, spongy disc material located between vertebrae bones in the spine. Often, these discs become damaged due to wear and tear or due to being squeezed (herniated) in between vertebrae bones. Thoracic discectomies are often either performed by approaching the herniated disc from the front of the spine (anterior approach) or the back of the spine (posterolateral approach).

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What is an artificial cervical disc replacement?

This type of spinal cord surgery involves removing damaged or deteriorated discs in the spine (the spongy padding in between the vertebrae bones in the spine) and replacing them with artificial discs. The surgical procedure is common among adults with herniated discs, which are also sometimes referred to as slipped discs or ruptured discs.

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What is vertebroplasty?

This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves strengthening the weaknesses in bone material in the spine by injecting a cement-like substance into the bone. This type of spinal cord surgery is often done to help stabilize fractured bone or damaged bone material due to bone loss often caused by wear and tear or arthritis.

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What is lumbar fusion?

This spinal cord surgical technique involves fusing vertebrae bones together in the lower part of the back, which is known as the lumbar region. Lumbar fusion surgery is often performed to repair spinal cord injuries or damage due to spinal infections, degenerated discs, scoliosis, abnormal curvature of the spine (kyphosis) or slipping of the spine bones (spondylolisthesis).

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What is scoliosis treatment?

There are many different surgical treatments available for scoliosis, a spinal cord condition in which the spine is abnormally curved or misaligned on one side. Scoliosis often affects the lower or mid part of the back. Scoliosis surgical treatments often include inserting metal rods into the spine.

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What is spine deformity surgery?

Spinal deformities such as scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine), kyphosis (hunching of the back) and lordosis (inward curvature of the spine) can often be corrected by spinal cord surgery. Different surgical procedures include anterior approach spinal cord surgery (surgery on the front of the spine), posterior approach spinal cord surgery (surgery on the back of the spine) and video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).

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What is thoracic spine decompression?

This form of spinal cord surgery focuses on relieving pressure on the spinal nerves in the middle part of the back, which is known as the thorax. Thoracic spine decompression surgery is also often performed in order to address damage to joints and ligaments in the spine caused by spinal stenosis, in which the spinal canal narrows and puts additional pressure on the nerves in the spine. Thoracic spine decompression surgical procedures include laminectomy, laminotomy, foraminotomy and laminoplasty.

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What is spine tumor surgery?

Abnormal tissue cells (tumors) on the spine can be painful. That’s why different types of surgical procedures are often performed to remove spine tumors or address damage to the spine caused by tumors. Common spinal cord injury surgical procedures for tumors include coccygectomy, decompression fusion, discectomy, spinal decompression and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion.

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What is endoscopic spine surgery?

A minimally invasive form of spinal surgery, endoscopic spine surgery involves using microscopic cameras and small surgical instruments inserted into small incisions in the spine. This approach often results in a shorter recovery time with less pain. Endoscopic spine surgery is often used to remove painful herniated discs, which are misaligned or damaged discs in the back.

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What is lumbar decompression?

A surgical procedure in which pressure is relieved from compressed nerves in the lumbar region, which is the lower part of the spine. Compressed nerves can cause serious, chronic back pain. During a lumbar decompression surgical procedure, the surgeon removes anything that puts pressure on the spinal nerve in the lumbar region. This may include removing bone spurs or painful disc material.

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What is transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion?

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure in which a bone graft is placed into a patient’s lower back (lumbar region) through a small incision. This form of spinal fusion surgery is often performed in order to relieve back pain or spinal instability in the lumbar region.

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What is posterolateral lumbar fusion?

Posterior lumbar fusion surgery is a complicated surgical procedure in which the bones in the spine (vertebrae bones) are fused together in the lower part of the back, which is known as the lumbar region. This surgical technique is often used treat damage to the spine caused by scoliosis, degenerative discs in the back, herniated discs and abnormal curvature of the spine, known as kyphosis.

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What is lumbar corpectomy and fusion?

This spinal cord surgery procedure involves removing vertebrae bones and or damaged disc material between the bones in the spine in the lower part of the back, which is known as the lumbar region. This surgical procedure is done in order to alleviate excessive pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.

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What is lumbar endoscopic discectomy?

A minimally invasive spinal cord surgery procedure in which a small, microscopic camera (endoscope) and small surgical instruments are used to remove herniated disc material in the lower part of the back, known as the lumbar region. This surgical procedure is also often done in order to relieve pressure on spinal nerves.

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What is lumbar interbody fusion?

Lumbar interbody fusion (LIF) is a surgical procedure involving removing damaged intervertebrae discs and replacing them with a bone grafted into the space created by disc removed from the spine. LIP surgical procedures are often recommended for people with degenerative bone diseases and herniated discs in their back.

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What is a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy?

This form of spinal cord surgery involves removing damaged discs in the spine to relieve pressure on the lower back, which is the lumbar region. Herniated discs are often removed as part of this procedure. Since this type of surgery is minimally invasive, the size of incisions is smaller than normal and the recovery time is also often shorter and less painful.

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What is an anterior lumbar interbody fusion?

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a surgical procedure involving removing damaged discs in the back and often using bone grafts to then fuse together two bones located near where the removed disc used to be in the lower part of the back, which is called the lumbar region.

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What is a posterior cervical fusion?

Posterior cervical fusion (PCF) is a surgical procedure involving fusing together damage cervical vertebrae located in the back. The procedure is performed by accessing the spine through the back of the neck. PCF surgery is often recommended for people with bone dislocations, cervical fractures and spine deformities due to abnormal curvature of the spine.

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What is a cervical laminoplasty?

This surgical procedure involves repositioning the bones in the neck region of the spine, which is known as the cervical spine area. This surgical treatment is often done to decrease excessive pressure placed on spinal nerves due to misalignment of spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs. Spinal stenosis, in which the spinal canal becomes narrower, is also a common reason why surgeons recommend cervical laminoplasty surgery.

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What is an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion?

This surgical procedure involves removing any part of the discs in the spine located in the neck area which are putting pressure on surrounding nerves and causing severe neck and back pain. The surgeon operates on the front part of the neck and if the spaces between the vertebrae bones in the neck area of the spine are too large after removing parts of the disc, the surgeon fuses those two bones together in order to reduce the size of the gap between the vertebrae bones.

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What is a thoracic vertebroplasty?

This surgical procedure involves injected a cement-like substance directly into a bone fracture or weak bones in order to strengthen the bone material. Thoracic vertebroplasty in particular focuses on strengthening weaker bones in the thorax region of the back, which is located in the middle part of the body.

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What is a lumbar discectomy?

This surgical procedure involves removing damaged discs in the lumbar region of the spine, which is located in the lower part of the back. Often, surgeons remove herniated discs, which are damaged and ruptured and can cause lower back pain. In order to remove the damaged spinal discs, the surgeon may need to remove a small portion of the bone near the disc, as well as perhaps adjoining ligaments.

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What is spinal fusion?

A spinal cord surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are fused together. This surgical procedure is usually recommended for patients with neurological problems or severe back pain. Spinal fusions can be performed in the lumber region (lower back), cervical region (neck area of spine) and thoracic region (middle part of back).

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What is spinal decompression?

This surgical treatment is designed to relieve excess pressure on “pinched nerves” in the spinal column. Spinal decompression is often used to treat patients with chronic back pain due to a herniated disc, sciatica or spinal stenosis. This type of surgical procedure is often performed one of two ways – microdiscectomy or laminectomy. A microdiscectomy involves removing part of a herniated disc using a laser or similar surgical instrument. A laminectomy involves removing part of the arch in a vertebrae bone in the spine to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve.

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What is a thoracic corpectomy?

A corpectomy is a surgical procedure which involves removing part of the vertebrae (bones in the spinal column) in order to relieve pressure on the nerves in the spine. This particular surgical procedure focuses on the middle and upper part of the back, which is known as the thoracic region. This procedure is often performed in order to relieve chronic back pain in the thoracic region.

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What is kyphoplasty?

This minimally invasive spinal cord procedure involves inserting a small balloon into a fractured vertebrae in the spine, removing the balloon and then inserting a cement-like substance into the space created by the balloon in the bone fracture. This spinal cord surgical procedure is often used for vertebrae compression fractures.

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What is a spine osteotomy?

A spinal cord surgery procedure which involves removing part of the spine in order to correct a misalignment in the spine. This surgical procedure is often performed due to severe spinal deformities and spinal conditions such as Scheuermann’s kyphosis. There are three main types of spine osteotomy procedures – Smith-Petersen Osteotomy (SPO), Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy (PSO) and Vertebral Column Resection Osteotomy (VCR).

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What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a surgical procedure in which this device is implanted into a patient’s spine. The spinal cord stimulator sends electrical impulse signals to the brain and spinal cord, interrupting pain messages normally sent between the brain and spine. As a result, many patients with a spinal cord stimulator experience less chronic back pain.

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What is cervical spine fusion?

This type of spinal cord surgery involves fusing together vertebrae bones in the upper part of the spine (cervical spine area) due to spinal cord damage. This damage may be due to a spinal cord injury, normal wear and tear or a spinal cord disease. Cervical spine fusion surgery can help strengthen the spine and stabilize weak areas in the spine.

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What is minimally invasive spine surgery?

As the name suggests, minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a less invasive form of spine surgery. Small incisions are made in the back and small surgical instruments are used to operate on the spine. As a result, the recovery time for minimally invasive spine surgery is often shorter compared to traditional spine surgery. There’s also smaller scar tissue, less blood loss during surgery and reduced risk of infection.

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What is carpometacarpal atrhroplasty?

This surgical procedure focusing on reconstructing damage to the carpometacarpal joint, which connects the wrist to the base of the thumb. Patients with arthritis of the thumb (also known as basil joint arthritis) often benefit from carpometacarpal atrhroplasty surgery, which can help reduce severe joint pain and swelling in the carpometacarpal joint, which is formed by two bones, the trapezium and the metacarpal bones.

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What is a lumbar sympathetic block?

This spinal surgical procedure helps block pain impulse messages from being transmitted to from the legs and the lower back to the brain. As a result, patients who receive a lumbar sympathetic block often feel less pain and discomfort due to steroid injections injected into the nerves in the lower spine. Anywhere from 2 to 10 steroid injections are injected into a patient as part of lumbar sympathetic block therapy.

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What is posterior lumbar fusion?

This surgical procedure involves fusing bones together in the lower part of the spine, which is known as the lumbar region. Posterior lumbar fusion surgery is often used treat relieve chronic lower back pain caused by herniated discs, scoliosis or kyphosis, a medical term for abnormal curvature of the spine.

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What is posterior lumbar interbody fusion?

This specialized form of spinal fusion surgery involves fusing together two or more vertebrae bones in the lower spine (known as the lumbar region) in order to reduce lower back pain often caused by vertebrae moving in the lumbar region. Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

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What is lower back (lumbar) surgery?

This broad category includes a wide range surgical procedures for the lower back, which is also known as the lumbar region. Lower back surgical procedures include anterior and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF or PLIF), axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF), direct lateral lumbar interbody fusion (DLIF), image guided apine surgery, intradiscal electrothermoplasty (IDET), laminoplasty, laminotomy and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) surgery.

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What is lumbar foraminotomy, facetectomy?

A common, spinal cord injury surgical procedure in which bone spurs or hardened ligaments in the lower back (lumbar region) are removed, often resulting in reduced lower back pain caused by spinal nerve compression, in which the nerves in the spine are compressed. Foraminotomy surgery involves removing bone matter in the spine to reduce the pressure caused by compressed nerves. Facetectomy surgery involves removing the facet joint in the spine in order to relieve lower back pain.

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What is minimally invasive lumbar surgery?

As the name of this surgical procedure suggests, minimally invasive lumbar surgery involves operating on the lower part of the back (lumbar region) by making small incisions in the back and using small surgical instruments. This type of surgery may include several different types of surgery, including a lumbar discectomy (removal of herniated disc), lumbar fusion (fusing together two or more vertebrae bones) or lumbar laminectomy (surgical procedure involving creating a space in the vertebrae in the spine).

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What is anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion?

This form of spinal surgery involves removing disc material or vertebrae bones in the lower back region (lumbar region) in order to reduce excess pressure on the spinal cord. This surgical procedure accesses the spine from the front of the body through the abdomen and often involves fusing together one or more vertebrae bones in the lumbar region in order to reduce lower back pain caused by compressed spinal nerves in the lumbar region.

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What is minimally invasive TLIF?

TLIF stands for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves fusing the vertebrae bones in the lower back (lumbar region) in order to stabilize the spine and reduce lower back pain and pain in the legs. This medical procedure can help patients with degenerative disc diseases, spine fractures, abnormally curved spine (scoliosis) and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).

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What is posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion?

This surgical procedure is designed to relieve pressure in the spinal cord and nerves in the cervical region (upper part) of the spine. During this surgical procedure, any herniated discs are often removed which put excess pressure on the spine. A posterior cervical laminectomy may also involve removing a portion of the ligamentum flavum, the ligament that connects the vertebrae to the laminae, a bony layer that protects the spinal cord.

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What is a minimally invasive cervical discectomy?

This surgical procedure focuses on relieving pressure on spinal nerves by removing part or all of damaged vertebrae discs. Because this spinal cord medical procedure is minimally invasive (meaning smaller incisions are made in the back), recovery time is often shorter compared to traditional surgical procedures. There’s also often less scar tissue and less pain during recovery after surgery. In certain circumstances, a minimally invasive cervical discectomy may be performed on an out-patient basis, meaning no overnight hospital stay is required after surgery.

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What is an anterior cervical discectomy?

This surgical procedure involves removing part of an intervertebral disc in order to relieve pressure on compressed nerves in the upper, cervical part of the spine. This pressure is often due to bone spurs or damaged, herniated discs in the spine. The operation takes place on the front part of the neck in the anterior cervical spine portion of the body.

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What is a cervical corpectomy and strut graft?

This surgical procedure focuses on relieving excessive pressure in the spinal cord (which can cause chronic back pain) by removing damaged vertebrae and replacing the bone matter with a bone graft. The bone graft (which is usually made using bone matter from the patient’s leg) should help to stabilize the spine and hold the vertebrae in the spine in place.

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What is thoracic spinal fusion?

This surgical procedure involves fusing together two more vertebrae (bones in the spine) in the thoracic (upper to middle part of the spine) in order to reduce movement in the spine and eliminate chronic back pain in the thoracic spine region. When successful, a thoracic spinal fusion procedure should promote healthy bone growth in the area where the vertebrae bones are fused together.

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What is a lumbar and cervical laminectomy?

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure which involves removing party or all of the vertebrae (bones in the spine) covering the spinal cord in the either the lower part of the back (lumbar region) or the neck region of the spine (cervical region). Common lumbar and cervical laminectomy procedures include:

  • Epidural steroid injections – This medical procedure involves injecting a steroid into the spine in order to relieve chronic back pain often caused by herniated discs or other, chronic degenerative back diseases. Up to three epidural steroid injections can be administered per year under New York State law.
  • Cervical laminectomy – This type of spinal cord surgery involves removing part of the vertebrae in the cervical region (neck portion of the spine) often due to degeneration of the facet joints or intervertebral discs, which can result in narrowing of the spinal canal, a medical condition known as spinal stenosis. This spinal condition can place excess pressure on spinal nerves, resulting in chronic back pain.
  • Lumbar laminectomy – This spinal cord surgical procedure focuses on relieving excess pressure on spinal cord nerves in the lumbar region (lower back) of the spine. Specifically, a lumbar laminectomy involves removing the lamina (roof of the vertebrae) in order to create enough space for spinal nerves in the spinal canal, often resulting in reduced lower back pain.

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What is a foraminotomy (lumbar and cervical)?

A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure in which bone matter is removed from around the spinal column in order to relieve pressure on compressed spinal nerves. The two most common types of foraminotomy surgical procedures include:

  • Cervical foraminotomy – This surgical procedure involves relieving pressure on compressed nerves in the neck portion of the spine (cervical region) by enlarging the neural foramen, the opening in the spine which allows the spinal nerve roots to exit the spine.
  • Lumbar foraminotomy – This surgical procedure involves relieving pressure on compressed nerves in the lower part of the spine (lumbar region) by removing bone or tissue obstructing spinal nerves in the opening in the spine known as the neural foramen. Patients who undergo lumbar foraminotomy surgery are often discharged from the hospital the same day.

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