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Spinal Procedures

Mary Washington Healthcare provides a wide variety of spinal procedures. With advanced medical techniques and state-of-the-art facilities, our hospitals rank highly for client satisfaction.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion stimulates bone growth that’s similar to how broken bones heal. Your surgeon places bone-like material between the affected vertebrae so that they grow together. The united vertebrae cannot move which helps to eliminate pain.

Spinal fusion is often used to treat:

  • Instability
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Herniated disk
  • Spinal deformities (scoliosis, kyphosis)
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Tumor
  • Infection
  • Vertebrae fracture

When all non-surgical options have been tried, spinal fusion may provide relief from this pain. It may take several months for a solid bone to form and fuse your vertebrae together. Spinal fusion takes away some of your spinal flexibility but only involves a small segment of your spine that doesn’t limit motion very much.

Laminectomy (Decompression)

Spinal stenosis puts pressure on the nerves in your spine can cause radiating pain, weakness or numbness in your arms and legs. Laminectomy may be performed to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves, treat a disk problem, or remove a tumor from the spine. It is a common treatment for a herniated disk. Laminectomy is typically performed after all non-surgical treatments are tried unless nerve damage is present. Patients who have laminectomy may not be able to walk for an extended amount of time without taking breaks to sit down.

You will be encouraged to stand and walk directly following your procedure. Physical therapy may be part of your rehabilitation to improve your strength and flexibility. Limit excessive bending, lifting or twisting for up to six weeks to allow your incision to heal.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the primary non-surgical treatment for back pain. Customized stretches, exercises and movements help increase your strength and flexibility, eliminate pain, and prevent additional damage to your spine. Physical therapists may use heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle release techniques. Your physical therapist will teach you techniques to increase your flexibility and strengthen your core (abdominal and back) muscles to prevent injury and improve your posture.

Injections

A spinal injection, or block, is given following a thorough evaluation of your spine. The injection is given with X-ray guidance in a procedure called fluoroscopy. This assures accurate needle placement and improves results and safety. Spinal injections are used to diagnose the cause and location of spine pain and to treat pain by directly applying anti-inflammatory medication such as cortisone to the pain source.

Injection types include:

  • Epidural
  • Facet Joint
  • Sacroiliac

Therapeutic Injection

Cortisone, an anti-inflammatory medication, can provide temporary relief of back pain, Injections can also be given near the structures that are causing your back pain such as the facet joints of the vertebrae.

Diagnostic Injections

During a diagnostic injection, a local anesthesia is injected in the area causing your pain. You are evaluated to see if the medication provides temporary relief from the pain. If it does not provide relief, another diagnostic injection will be needed.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend over the counter medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If those fail, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant. Narcotics can be used for short periods of time to provide relief. For chronic back pain, low doses of anti-depressants may also be effective.

Medical & Alternative Treatment

You should have a medical professional evaluate any back pain that persists for longer than 2 to 4 weeks. Most back pain can be treated without surgery. Seek medical care immediately if your back pain is accompanied by fever, worsens over time, cycles from your back to your legs, does not go away with rest, or disturbs sleep.

Medical treatment may include:

  • Modifying your activities
  • Taking analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants
  • Injections into your spine
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Weight loss program
  • Quitting smoking
  • Mechanical back supports

If medical treatments are not satisfactory, back surgery may be necessary. Many individuals with back pain have found relief through one or a combination of alternative treatment options such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic therapy, pilates, and yoga.

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