Expert Spinal Surgery

Around half of us will have back pain at some point in our lives. It often heals with time but for some people with disc related problems such as prolapse, degeneration, infection, tumour or deformity, spinal surgery is needed.

We nearly always consider surgery as the last option after physical therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic have been pursued.

A range of non-operative pain control techniques are available, including epidurals and joint injections, to allow physical therapies to continue before surgery is considered.

All spinal injections are performed under sedation and fluoroscopy to ensure accuracy and minimal discomfort.



Spinal Surgery

When Is Spinal Surgery Considered?

The time when spinal surgery is considered before these therapies is when there is a serious pathology such as tumour or infection or when there is serious concern about nerve function such as in cauda equina syndrome.

At London Spine Specialists we offer different forms of surgery to treat each patient.

You can read more about the types of surgery we offer below and if you have any questions you can visit our FAQ section or contact our helpful team by calling 020 3370 1030 or emailing spinespecialists@hje.org.uk

Spinal Surgery

Spinal Surgery - What To Expect?

Surgery is an invasive yet definitive treatment carried out with the aim to provide you long term relief from neck, back and arm pain. Your Consultant should have discussed the pros and cons of surgical intervention for your particular case. Surgical intervention should be considered when:

  • Pain relief medication and other conservative treatments (such as injections, physiotherapy, acupunture) have failed to provide longterm relief of your symptoms
  • The pain is so severe it is interfering with your quality of life, including walking, work and sleep
  • You have had an MRI scan that shows you have a disc, bony spur or thickened ligament pressing on a nerve
  • You have a fracture, tumour or infection affecting the nerves or bones of the spine

General Anaesthesia

Spinal surgery is commonly performed under a general anaesthetic. General anaesthetic is a type of anaesthesia (a medication that causes loss of sensation). It is used for pain relief during surgical procedures. A general anaesthetic makes you completely lose consciousness so that surgery can be performed without causing you pain or distress.

You should read the booklet You and your Anaesthetic for more details. London Spine Specialists will send this booklet out to you seperately.


Spinal Surgery

Anterior Cervical Disc Replacement & Fusion Surgery

In the backbone, spongy pads of tissue called discs lie between the small bones (called vertebrae). The disc helps absorb pressure and keeps the bones from rubbing against each other. They have a tough outer ring and a soft jelly-like middle. Acute disc herniation (also known as slipped disc), happens when the tough outer ring of a disc tears. The jelly-like middle bulges out through the tear and this may press on nearby nerves, causing pain and weakness in the muscles. Read more about Anterior Cervical Disc Replacement & Fusion Surgery.

Artificial Disc Replacement

This involves replacing the old and worn out disc with an artificial disc that is made of a material that is meant to last awhile. This procedure has been used in clinical trials in Europe for about 15 years.  Surgeons have used this procedure in the United Kingdom for several years now, with exceptional results. Read more about artificial disc replacement.

Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure

Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure provides rapid pain relief, reduces need for pain medication, improves functional ability and enhances health-related quality of life. Compared to non-surgical conventional medical therapy, Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure reduces subsequent adjacent fractures and has a lower risk of cement leakage when compared to vertebroplasty. Read more about Balloon Kyphoplasty Procedure

Cervical Disc Replacement Spinal Surgery

The London Spine Specialists are one of the few organisations in the UK performing this procedure. We have started using cervical disc replacement surgery since it was approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.  Read more about Cervical Disc Replacement Spinal Surgery.

Keyhole Discectomy

Keyhole discectomy is a procedure carried out to release the pressure on spinal nerves caused by a slipped disc – the body’s shock absorbers that sit between the vertebrae. It can also be used to treat sciatica and chronic back pain. Read more about Keyhole discectomy.

Kyphoplasty & Vertebroplasty

These techniques are used to treat fractures of the spine due to weakness of the vertebrae and aim to stop pain and stabilize the spine. It is often used to treat painful vertebral compression factures caused by as osteoporosis but it is also effective in treating damage caused by metastatic tumour, multiple myeloma and vertebral haemangioma. Read more about kyphoplasty & vertebroplasty.

Laminectomy

This procedure is usually performed under general anethesia. The patient is placed face-down on the operating table. The exact procedure depends on the location of the problem, for example if it is in the neck, the head is clamped to prevent movement. Read more about Laminectomy.

Lumbar Decompression

Lumbar decompression or lumbar laminectomy is an operation performed on the lower spine to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots. The term is derived from lumbar (lower spine), lamina (part of the spinal canal’s bony roof), and -ectomy (removal). Read more about Lumbar Decompression.

Lumbar Disc Replacement

Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery is a relatively new treatment for people who have suffered from degenerative discs causing years of severe and debilitating pain in their spine. It involves an operation to remove a damaged disc and replace it with an artificial disc. Read more about Lumbar Disc Replacement.

Lumbar Fusion Surgery

A spinal fusion of the lumbar spine is designed to stop the movement at a painful, unstable spinal joint. By linking together (fusing) two or more of the vertebrae, your surgeon is trying to eliminate the motion that occurs within that portion of the spine. Once a segment of the spine is stabilized the patient usually experiences some relief of pain. The surgeon may opt to use specialised spinal instruments (screws, rods, plates) to immobilize the spine, this immobilization will enhance the healing process. Spinal instrumentation acts as an internal splint. Read more about Lumbar Fusion Surgery.

Lumbar MicroDiscectomy “Keyhole” Surgery (Minimally Invasive)

Minimally Invasive means minimal damage to normal tissue. Minimally Invasive Discectomy includes any procedure that keeps the skin incision very small and avoids undue retraction to spine muscles. MICRODISCECTOMY (using a microscope) and ENDOSCOPIC DISCECTOMY (operating through a camera) are 2 different forms of MID. Read more about Lumbar MicroDiscectomy Surgery.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal Fusion is a surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae to prevent movement that causes excessive pain. The aim is to ‘weld’ painful vertebrae together to form one bone and eliminate the movement and jarring caused by damaged vertebrae. It is most commonly used in the lumbar region of the spine but can be employed to treat cervical and thoracic problems. Read more about Spinal Fusion.

Contact London Spine Specialists

For further information on our surgical procedures you can contact the team by calling 020 3370 1030 or email spinespecialists@hje.org.uk

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