Your spine is made of 33 bones stacked one on top of the other. It provides the main support for your body and allows you to stand, bend and twist whilst protecting your spinal cord from injury. Vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, nerves, intervertebral discs, facet joints are all components of your spine and can be affected by strain, injury, wear and tear and disease that can lead to back pain.
Here at Berkshire Independent Hospital our spinal surgeons diagnose and treat a wide range of spinal problems including: spinal injuries, back pain, spinal stenosis, slipped discs, spinal deformity, and tumours. They work in a multidisciplinary team of specialist consultant radiologists, pain medicine consultants, spinal consultant anaesthetists, specialist spinal nurses and physiotherapists to deliver high quality back and spinal care.
The range of spinal surgeries we offer
Nerve root decompression surgery
Nerve root decompression surgery removes a small portion of the bone or tissue over the nerve root (the initial segment of a nerve leaving the central nervous system) when a nerve or nerves are impinged, to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve and give the nerve more space to heal.
The main nerve root decompression procedures include: laminectomy (the removal of a section of your vertebrae to relieve pressure on the affected nerve), discectomy (the removal of a section of a disc) and spinal fusion (the joining of two or more spinal bones together).
One or more of these procedures are used to treat many spinal problems, if non-surgical treatments haven’t been successful, including: spinal stenosis (narrowing spinal canal), a herniated disc, fracture or swelling. The aim is to alleviate back, neck and leg pain.
Discectomy is a nerve root decompression surgery used to treat what’s sometimes called a “slipped disc”. Discs don’t actually slip but they do tear or burst and a ruptured disc can irritate or compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness in the neck, back and leg.
If you have on-going pain that has not been eased by rest, gentle exercise, medication or injections a discectomy may be performed. During a discectomy your orthopaedic surgeon will remove the damaged portion of a herniated disc in your spine either through minimally invasive or open surgery.
Kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat a compression fracture or a break in one or more of your vertebrae. Vertebral compression fractures cause pain and may develop into a hunched over deformity called kyphotic and the collapse of all or part of your spine bone. They are mainly due to thinning bones or osteoporosis.
Kyphoplasty is designed to stop the pain caused by vertebral compression fractures. Kyphoplasty will stabilise the bone, restore some or all of the lost vertebral body height due to the compression fracture and straighten out your spine and, prevent further fractures. A balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra using a hollow needle. It is then inflated to expand the compressed vertebra to its normal height and the space is filled with bone cement. The procedure is repeated for all affected vertebrae.
A vertebroplasty is a similar procedure to kyphoplasty. In a vertebroplasty the bone cement is injected through the hollow needle in to the fractured vertebra without the use of a balloon.
Facet joint injections
Facet joints are the small joints located between each vertebra that provide the spine with both stability and flexibility. Facet joint injections can be used to diagnose and treat neck and back pain that originates in your facet joints.
Facet joint injections combine a local anaesthetic and a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication. They relieve pain and inflammation coming from your facet joint that may be caused when the joints become worn down by conditions such as osteoporosis. They are safely performed on an outpatient basis.