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UR Medicine / Neurosurgery / Services / Treatments / Spine Surgery


Spine Surgery

For more information, please visit our Integrated Spine Care site

What is it?

Laminectomy: removes bone (lamina)

Foraminotomy: enlarges the opening (foramen) the nerve passes through

Discectomy: removal of herniated disc material

Instrumented Fusion: placement of spacers, rods or plates to provide spine stability

What is its goal?

The goal of spine surgery is to relieve pressure on the nerves.

How is it done?

An incision is made in your neck or lower back in order for the doctor to remove a section of bone and relieve the nerve compression.

What are the risks?

There are always risks with any surgery. Potential complications include:

  • Pain, numbness due to nerve manipulation
  • Weakness, paralysis
  • Incontinence or impotence
  • Recurrence or continuation of pain.
  • Injury to major blood vessels

How long will I stay in the hospital?

One day for minor spine procedures. Fusion surgeries may be one to three days.

Going home

You will be given additional instructions on the day you are discharged which will include:

  • Walk daily, gradually increasing time and distance. Avoid sitting or lying down for long periods as this will lead to pain and stiffness.
  • Do not get overtired; balance periods of activity with rest periods.
  • No driving while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • You may go up and downstairs.
  • Do not carry heavy items, such as groceries or laundry. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until told otherwise by your doctor.
  • You should not need special equipment for home.