The unique structure of the spinal column allows
normal body movement such as bending, twisting, standing, sitting,
etc. There are 24 vertebrae in the spinal column, with cushioning
pads called discs between the vertebrae to allow spine movement and
absorb pressure. One of the most common causes of back pain is the
displacement or herniation of the disc, typically caused by improper
lifting, a fall or sudden twisting. Other spinal disorders include
abnormal curvatures such as scoliosis or kyphosis, weakness of the
spine caused by infections or tumors, injuries to the spinal vertebrae,
and spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by the
wear-and-tear effects of aging.
Surgical procedures performed by Rocky Mountain
Orthopaedics include the following:
- Disc repair. Designed to relieve the pressure
placed on the nerves in the spinal cord by a herniated or protruding
disc, this procedure involves removing a portion of bone and ligament
overlying the nerve roots and removing the displaced disc material.
fusion. This procedure is a "welding" process by which two or more of the vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts and metal rods to heal into a single bone. This surgery eliminates motion between vertebrae segments, relieving the pain caused by motion. It also stops the progress of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.
- Laminectomy. This procedure for spinal
stenosis involves removing the bone and soft tissue that are pinching
the nerves within the spinal column.
- Kyphoplasty. A minimally
invasive surgical procedure, kyphoplasty is used to treat painful
progressive vertebral body collapse caused by osteoporosis or the
spread of a tumor to the vertebral body. The procedure involves
the use of a balloon to restore the vertebral body height and shape,
followed by bone cement to strengthen it.