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Spinal surgery

Spinal surgery

Spinal surgery abroad can help patients to identify specialist centres overseas. Spinal surgery covers all invasive and non-invasive surgeries that help treat spinal issues. The spine consists of the column of bones (vertebrae), which are separated by soft cushions (discs) and surround and protect the spinal cord. The spine is categorized according to the level of the body, such as the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and middle back) and the lumbar spine (lower back).

Back problems are usually a result of such things as poor posture, sitting or standing for long periods, lifting heavy items, a trip or fall, or being overweight. However, back pain can be the result of more serious problems such as osteoporosis, a prolapsed (slipped) disc, stenosis, malformation of the spine, infection or collapse of the vertebrae, tuberculosis or cancer. Surgery is generally used as a last resort for serious spinal issues.

Common spinal surgery procedures

There are numerous procedures included in the spinal surgery category such as spinal fusion (involves the fixation of a segment of the spine to reduce mobility); artificial disc replacement (insertion of a metal disc to allow mobility to the spine); laminotomy (removal of the lamina which covers the spinal cord); foraminotomy (removal of a portion of the facet joint); discectomy (removal of a portion of the disc to reduce pressure) and corpectomy (alteration of the vertebral body to reduce pressure). There is also minimally invasive spine surgery, which involves an incision of less than an inch to carry out the above operations, as well as endoscopic spinal surgery, which is also minimally invasive but utilises an endoscope, and finally, laser spine surgery, which uses a laser for coagulation type properties.

Destinations

For a full list of available destinations for spinal surgery please refer to the search box to the right.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on spinal surgery at:

North American Spine Society - www.spine.org

British Association of Spine Surgeons - www.spinesurgeons.ac.uk

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Page last updated: Monday, 23rd November 2009