This video explains the difference between spinal fusion and other procedures. Spinal fusion relieves pain by stopping the spine from putting pressure on nerves through limiting motion between joints. Other procedures include artificial disc replacement, interspinous spacers, and other similar techniques which are designed to relieve pain and preserve the ability for motion at the joint.
Video presented by Jeffrey Spivak, MD
In This Article:
- Posterior Motion Preservation Spine Surgery: Alternative to Spinal Fusion
- Goals of Posterior Motion Preservation Devices
- Interspinous Process Spacers
- Posterior Dynamic Stabilization Systems
- Facet Replacement or Total Element Replacement Devices for Spinal Stenosis
- Theoretical Possibilities With Posterior Motion Preservation
- Motion Preservation Procedures Video
Motion preservation procedures for the spine is a newer set of operations that have been devised to correct some of the problems we’ve had with previous spine surgeries. Often in an attempt to treat pain and dysfunction we do spinal fusions and that involves stiffening of the spine and helping with pain in a fairly effective way, but with the consequence of the stiffening causing additional problems with posture, with ability to function in some respects. Many times in an attempt to treat pain now we find the area of the pain, whether it’s coming from the discs or the joints, and try to treat that in a way that will allows the joint and the disc to continue to function and move and that whole area of motion preservation surgery has evolved in the spine and continues to evolve. If the disc is the source of the problem, then rather than fusing that disc, we can sometimes now use artificial discs, either made of metal and plastic or metal and metal, to be able to articulate and continue to move in the same way an artificial hip or an artificial knee is able to move and people are able to have relief of their pain but continue to function. If the problem relates to pressure on the nerves, rather than the disc itself, we can sometimes help stabilize the motion without taking it away, using some special flexible rods in the back of the spine or devices that sit between the processes of the spine called ‘interspinous process spacers’ with the same goal of helping to relieve pain, but maintaining some element of motion to help patients function better and still treat their pain.