When we think of back surgery, we tend to believe that all the procedures are more or less the same. It's back surgery, right? But, in fact, there are a large number of procedures. Each has it's own indications and outcomes. Among the most common back surgeries, per the Mayoclinic.org, are:
- Diskectomy. This involves removal of the herniated portion of a disk to relieve irritation and inflammation of a nerve. Diskectomy typically involves full or partial removal of the back portion of a vertebra (lamina) to access the ruptured disk.
- Laminectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the bone overlying the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal and is performed to relieve nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis.
- Fusion. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in your spine. It can relieve pain by adding stability to a spinal fracture. It is occasionally used to eliminate painful motion between vertebrae that can result from a degenerated or injured disk.
- Artificial disks. Implanted artificial disks are a treatment alternative to spinal fusion for painful movement between two vertebrae due to a degenerated or injured disk. But these relatively new devices aren't an option for most people.