Spine Surgery

Learn more about your options for spine surgery at MemorialCare Surgical Center - Saddleback

Providing access to more affordable, leading edge surgical treatment

At MemorialCare Surgical Center – Saddleback we’ve invested in the latest proven technology for minimally invasive surgical procedures. But what truly sets us apart is the personalized attention and communication we provide each of our patients. We want you to feel completely supported before, during and after your surgery.

What Health Problems Does Spine Surgery Address?

Should you be experiencing any of these conditions your physician or surgeon may recommend surgery to address your problem. There are a variety of surgical interventions which can be used to alleviate your pain, numbness, or tingling, and restore function to the spine and the nerves. You and your physician will discuss the options which are best suited for your individual case.

What Spine Procedures Does MemorialCare Surgical Center – Saddleback Offer?

Cervical Spine
Posterior Cervical Laminectomy: Used when part of the vertebrae is compressing on the nerve. This procedure involves making an incision in the back of the neck about 3-4 inches long in order to access the affected vertebrae. Next, using a specialized tool, the surgeon will remove the part of the vertebrae, called the lamina, which is causing the compression, to give the nerve more space. After surgery you can expect to regain function in your arms and hands, with less or no numbness or tingling remaining. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss. Full recovery can be expected in two to three months after surgery.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF): In this surgical procedure, the surgeon will remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the neck. The incision is in the front of the neck to facilitate the removal of the damaged disc. Then a graft is inserted into the space left after disc removal. This will allow the vertebrae above and below to fuse together to prevent instability or collapsing of the vertebrae. The graft and vertebrae are held in place with metal plates and screws. After about 3-6 months, the fusion will heal the area into a solid piece of bone. Depending on the severity of the problem, one or more areas of the cervical spine may be fused. There may be some reduction in range of motion or other effects from the surgery. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss. Full recovery can be expected in three to six months after surgery.

Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement (CADR): In this surgical procedure, the surgeon will remove a damaged or degenerated cervical disc and replace it with an artificial disc device. This allows some degree of mobility in the neck as there is no need for a fusion. This is a newer type of procedure for neck problems caused by degenerated discs, and there are indications that it may work as well as or slightly better than the more well established ACDF procedure mentioned above with a shorter recovery time. You will discuss with your surgeon if this is a good option for you. Full recovery can be expected in around 6 weeks after surgery.

Thoracic Spine
Vertebroplasty/ Kyphoplasty: These are procedures to address compression fractures of the vertebrae in the spine. These fractures can be a result of traumatic injury or from osteoporosis causing a weakening in the vertebral body leading to a collapse of the body of the vertebrae. In order to correct this problem, the physician will restore the vertebral height and stability by injecting specialized cement into the damaged vertebra by using a needle passed through the skin, there is no need for an incision. This is called a vertebroplasty.
In some cases it is necessary to use a small balloon like device inserted into the damaged vertebra. The balloon is then inflated to restore the vertebra to its normal height. Then the space is filled with the specialized bone cement. This is called a kyphoplasty. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss.These procedures have a relatively quick recovery time and you can be back to full activity in as little as one to two weeks.

Lumbar Spine
For conditions of the lumbar spine: discectomy with laminectomy/ laminotomy typically with posterior approach, spinal fusion, or vertebroplasty procedure can be performed.

Lumbar Discectomy: This is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the lumbar spine. The damaged disc may be pressing on a nerve and causing back pain, tingling or numbness in the leg or foot. By removing the damaged disc, the nerve compression can be alleviated. Occasionally, a laminectomy/ laminotomy may be performed before the disc material is removed. The laminectomy/ laminotomy is the removal of part of the vertebrae. This allows the surgeon better access to the damaged disc. An incision is made in the low back to allow access to the spine. After disc removal, a spinal fusion may be performed to help stabilize the spine. Fusions are rarely needed for herniated lumbar discs. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss. Recovery can be expected in four to six weeks after surgery.

Spinal Fusion: This surgery is performed when it is necessary to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine. A bone graft or bone-like material is inserted in between the vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to fix the vertebrae together while the body’s natural process heals the vertebrae together into one solid unit. This is done to improve stability, correct a deformity or reduce pain. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss. Recovery from spinal fusion can be expected in three to six months after surgery.

Vertebroplasty: This is a procedure to address compression fractures of the vertebrae in the spine which can cause pain and instability. These fractures can be a result of traumatic injury or from osteoporosis causing a weakening in the vertebral body leading to a collapse of the body of the vertebrae. In order to correct this problem, the physician will restore the vertebral height and stability by injecting specialized cement into the damaged vertebra by using a needle passed through the skin, there is no need for an incision. As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which you and your surgeon should discuss. This procedure has a relatively quick recovery time and you can be back to full activity in as little as one to two weeks.