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How Spinal Decompression and Fusion Can Alleviate Back and Neck Pain

How Spinal Decompression and Fusion Can Alleviate Back and Neck Pain

Your spine runs the full length of your back, from your pelvis up to your neck. It contains 24 flexible vertebral bones beginning in your neck, with two fused bones at the base near your pelvis.

All the bones in your spine work together to support your body and protect your spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that connects your brain to your torso, arms, and legs. Your spine naturally bends and twists when you move — but sometimes, your spinal cord gets compressed and you experience pain in your back or neck.

Common spinal conditions, like herniated discs and spinal stenosis, make your spinal canal too narrow. Lack of space pinches the nerves in your spinal cord, and the resulting pain can force you to limit your life.

Instead of living with back and neck pain, it’s time to learn more about your treatment options. George Kakoulides, MD and our team specialize in minimally invasive surgery, including spinal decompression and fusion, to relieve nerve pain and help you live better.

How spinal decompression works

Compressed nerves are one of the most common causes of back and neck pain. A healthy spine has plenty of room in the spinal canal for the spinal cord to exist, but injury and degeneration can make the canal smaller.

Spinal decompression is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that gives your spinal cord more room. Lumbar laminectomy is one of the most common procedures for pinched nerves and chronic conditions like spinal stenosis.

During the procedure, Dr. Kakoulides creates space inside your spinal canal by removing nearby bone and tissue. This extra space relieves pressure on nerves to reduce pain. 

Another type of spinal decompression surgery is X-STOP® Interspinous Spacer. In this procedure, Dr. Kakoulides places a small device between two vertebrae to create more space for nerves to exit your spinal canal.

How spinal fusion works

Spinal decompression surgery creates more space for your nerves in and around your vertebrae. Although the procedure can be performed on its own, Dr. Kakoulides often combines it with spinal fusion.

Spinal fusion is another minimally invasive procedure designed to increase spinal stability. It involves permanently fusing vertebral bones to reduce movement between bones and relieve chronic pain.

During spinal fusion, Dr. Kakoulides removes any damaged bone or tissue, then uses a graft to fuse two or more vertebrae together. He may add rods, plates, or pins to increase stability even more. 

When to consider spine surgery

Spinal decompression and fusion are effective, minimally invasive procedures that can relieve many types of back and neck pain. However, all surgeries carry risks, so it’s important to evaluate all your options before deciding to undergo surgery.

Dr. Kakoulides can help. He works with you to identify and diagnose the cause of your spinal pain. In most cases, he recommends nonsurgical treatment options before suggesting spinal decompression and fusion.

Many people find relief with conservative care, including:

But if you’ve tried conservative treatments without success, surgery may be a good option for you. Talk to Dr. Kakoulides about the treatment options you’ve tried, and he can help you determine if spine surgery could offer you longer-lasting pain relief.

Don’t let back and neck pain keep you from enjoying your life. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kakoulides to learn more about spinal decompression and fusion. Call our new patient line at 631-358-2589 or book an appointment online now. 

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