Myelopathy is a condition in which the spinal cord becomes compressed, resulting in pain and injury. Whether the root cause is a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or some other condition or traumatic event, myelopathy can often be treated conservatively with a combination of medication and physical therapy. But, in some cases, myelopathy surgery may be the best solution to remedy the condition.
Common Types of Myelopathy Surgery
Many of these procedures can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, “through incisions less than half an inch and require just a band-aid,” said the DISC Spine Institute, a leader in minimally invasive back treatments and surgical procedures. “These procedures require no sutures to remove. Muscle fibers, ligaments, and tendons are meticulously preserved. There is less operative time, less anesthesia, and less blood loss, and they’re performed on an outpatient basis, which allows you to return to work and back to a pain-free lifestyle quicker than traditional surgery.”
Common surgical treatments for myelopathy include laminoplasty, laminectomy, and Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF). “The procedure your doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors, including your overall health and the type and location of your problem,” said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “The goal of surgery is to relieve symptoms by ‘decompressing,’ or relieving pressure on, the spinal cord.
“Cervical laminoplasty is a non-fusion, decompression procedure for cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM),” said the United States National Library of Medicine. “First described in 1973, laminoplasty has been increasingly implemented as a non-fusion, motion-preserving decompression of the cervical spinal cord.” This procedure is performed from the posterior.
“Laminectomy is one of the most common back surgeries,” said WebMD. “During a laminectomy, a surgeon removes the rear portion of one or more spinal bones (vertebrae). Bone spurs and ligaments that are pressing on nerves may be removed at the same time.” This procedure is also performed from the posterior.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
The goal of an ACDF is to remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the neck, and the procedure is done from the front of the body, through the throat area. “Performing the surgery in a suture-less method, through the front of the neck (anterior) versus the back of the neck (posterior) allows us to access the discs without disturbing the spine and spinal nerves,” said Dr. Mark C. Valente, Board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon and founder and Medical Director of the DISC Spine Institute. “This also allows for improved function after surgery, less blood loss, and more complete decompression of spinal nerves.”
Choosing a Cervical Myelopathy Surgeon
If you’re ready to put an end to your pain or if you want more information about treatment options, contact the DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Today’s minimally invasive procedures include outpatient treatments and easier surgical treatments with small incisions and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.