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Spine

ALIF: Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

ALIF is generally used to treat back or leg pain caused by degenerative disc disease. The surgeon will stabilize the spine by fusing vertebrae together with bone graft material.

The procedure is performed through a three to five inch incision on the stomach. Two common approaches are over the center of the stomach or slightly to the side.

After the incision, the damaged disc is partially removed. Some of the disc wall is left behind to help contain the bone graft material.

Then a metal cage implant filled with bone graft is placed in the empty disc space. This realigns the vertebral bones, lifting pressure from pinched nerve roots.

In some patients, this will be enough to secure the vertebrae. For others, the surgeon may need to implant a series of screws and rods along the back of the spine for additional support.

Over time, the bone graft will grow through and around the implants, forming a bone bridge that connects the vertebra above and below. This solid bone bridge is called a fusion.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)

This surgery removes a herniated or diseased disc and relieves neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots.

This procedure is performed though an incision on the front of the neck. Once open, the diseased or damaged disc is removed. As pressure is removed from the pinched nerve roots, pain is relieved. The space above and below the removed disc is cleared and prepared for a bone graft. The graft is then placed between the vertebrae.

The surgeon may screw a small metal plate over the area to hold the bones in place while the vertebrae heal. During the healing process, the bone graft knits together with the vertebrae above and below to form a new done mass called a fusion.

Kyphoplasty

This minimally invasive procedure treats spine fractures caused by osteoporosis. It is designed to provide rapid back pain relief and help straighten the spine.

Through a half-inch incision, small instruments are placed into the fractured vertebral body to create a working channel. The KyphX Inflatable Bone Tamp (IBT) is then placed into the fracture.

The device is carefully inflated, creating a cavity inside the vertebral body. The cavity is left in the vertebral body when the balloon is deflated and then is filled with bone cement to stabilize the fracture. Once filled, the incision is closed.

With the process complete, an “internal cast” is now in place. This stabilizes the vertebral body and provides rapid mobility and pain relief. It also restores vertebral body height, reducing spinal deformity.

Lumbar Pedicle Screw Fixation (CD HORIZON® SEXTANT™)

This minimally-invasive procedure uses special guides and fluoroscopic imaging to allow a surgeon to precisely implant stabilizing screws and rods in the spine while minimizing damage to the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue in the back.

After anesthesia is administered and the patient is positioned, the spine is scanned with an imaging system. This allows the surgeon to plot the paths of the pedicle screws down to the vertebrae. The surgeon then creates the entry points few tiny incisions on the back.

A probe is inserted through the first incision and guided with fluoroscopic imaging to the spine. When the probe is correctly positioned at the point where the screw will be inserted, a guide wire is placed gently down the pedicle and the probe is removed. The surgeon repeats this for each screw placement point. The pedicle screws are threaded into the guide wires, gently placed down to the vertebrae, and carefully screwed into the bone.

To stabilize the spine, metal rods are needed to connect the pedicle screws. The benefit of using the SEXTANT™ device is the ability to insert the connecting rods without a large incision. A guide is positioned and one at a time, the rods are attached to the device and inserted though small incisions. Each rod is gently placed into the screw heads, locking the screws together.

The instruments are removed, and the incisions are closed. The patient will typically require a hospital stay of 1 to 3 days after the procedure. The surgeon will determine the length of the stay, and will guide the postoperative recovery. Because the Sextant does not require large incisions, healing time may be faster than for open surgery.

Vertebroplasty

This minimally invasive treatment is used to repair spine fractures caused by osteoporosis or cancer. It stabilizes the spine, providing rapid pain relief and helping prevent further weakening of the spine.

Once an area on the back is numb, a tube is inserted though a small incision and positioned under x-ray guidance. One or two needles are inserted in the collapsed vertebra and used to collect diseased bone tissue for study.

The weakened area in the vertebra is filled with the bone cement to stabilize the fracture. Once filled, the tube is removed. In some cases, the cement may be injected in both the left and right sides of the vertebra.

With the process complete, an “internal cast” is now in place. This stabilizes the vertebral body and provides rapid mobility and pain relief.