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A person showing signs of thoracic spine pain

Thoracic Spine Surgery: All You Need to Know

The thoracic spine is the middle section of the spine, and it is made up of 12 vertebrae (T1 to T12). It is located just behind your chest. The pain in the thoracic spine can be caused due to several reasons. However, not all reasons require surgical treatment. If you are scheduled for thoracic spine […]

Anatomy of Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine is the middle section of the spine, and it is made up of 12 vertebrae (T1 to T12). It is located just behind your chest. The pain in the thoracic spine can be caused due to several reasons. However, not all reasons require surgical treatment. If you are scheduled for thoracic spine surgery, it is important that you understand what to expect. This article will provide you with all the information you need. We will discuss the procedure itself, as well as the risks and recovery process. This information will help you feel confident and prepared before your surgery!

Why is Thoracic Spine Surgery Performed?

It is typically performed to treat conditions that cause pain or compression in the middle area of the spine. Some common reasons for thoracic spine surgery include:

Preop Guidelines

Successful surgery and recovery entail strict adherence to pre-op guidelines. The guidelines are very much similar to other spine surgeries.

  • You will need to fast for at least six hours before the time of your surgery.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking as they can hinder the effect of anesthesia.
  • Blood thinners must also be avoided to prevent excessive blood loss during surgery.
  • Provide accurate answers in pre-surgery meetings regarding your medical history, allergies, lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Other than these general guidelines, there are 5 perioperative spine assessments identified by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons; Osteoporosis assessments, nutrition assessments, pulmonary evaluation and optimization, opioid evaluation, and surgical risk assessment.

Procedure for Thoracic Spine Surgery

The thoracic spine surgery itself is fairly complex, and it usually takes several hours to complete. During the surgery, your surgeon will access the thoracic spine through an incision in your back. Once they have access to the spine, they will remove any damaged or diseased tissue. In some cases, they may also need to fuse together some of the vertebrae to stabilize the spine. The specific type of thoracic spine surgery that is required will depend on the underlying condition being treated.

After your surgery, you will be closely monitored in the hospital for any complications. Once you are discharged, you will need to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks. You will also need to follow up with your surgeon periodically to make sure that your recovery is progressing as planned.

Types of Thoracic Spine Surgery

There are different types of thoracic spine surgery, each designed to address a specific problem or condition. The most common type is called the laminectomy. This procedure involves removing the lamina, which is the bony plate that covers the spinal cord. Laminectomies are often performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Other types of thoracic spine surgery include;

Spinal fusion – This procedure involves joining two or more vertebrae together. This is often done to stabilize the spine and relieve pain.
Decompression – This procedure involves relieving pressure on the spinal cord or nerves by removing bone or other tissues.
Disc replacement – This procedure involves removing a damaged disc and replacing it with an artificial disc.

Your surgeon will choose the appropriate procedure after evaluating your medical condition.

Risks Involved in Thoracic Spine Surgery

Most spine surgeries are safe and do not lead to any major medical complications. However, different people have different risk vulnerabilities. There are several factors that determine this risk. For example, medical history, overall health condition, age, coexisting medical conditions, and Osteoporosis. Following are some of the common risks that need to be considered when undergoing thoracic spine surgery;

  • Surgical site infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Injury to the spinal cord (rare)
  • Blood clots
  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Spinal headache after surgery

It is important to discuss all of the potential risks and side effects of thoracic spine surgery with your surgeon before having the procedure. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not this type of surgery is right for you.

Recovery after Thoracic Spine Surgery

A patient recovering after thoracic spine surgery

After undergoing thoracic spine surgery, it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for a successful recovery. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may be able to go home the same day or may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.

In either case, you will need to take it easy for the first few days or weeks and avoid any strenuous activity. You may also need to wear a brace to support your spine as it heals. Physical therapy can also be helpful in regaining strength and mobility.

Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few months, although some may experience ongoing pain or other issues. Follow-up appointments with your surgeon are important to ensure that your recovery is on track. Working with a professional physiotherapist for smooth and fast recovery is also recommended.

Choosing the right surgeon can make things a lot easier for you in terms of getting smooth treatment and post-surgical assistance. Before you finalize the surgeon for your treatment, spend some time researching different doctors. Shortlist doctors based on their experience and patient ratings. For this purpose, you can check websites like Yelp and Healthgrades.

Spine surgeon in Los Angeles

See a Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles

Looking for a spine surgeon in Los Angeles for thoracic spine surgery? Schedule an appointment with Moksha Ranasinghe MD at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery. She has been treating patients with spine problems for more than 20 years. For appointment scheduling, you can call (213)-369 4583 or fill out the contact form available on our website.

A doctor with the model of human spine

Open Spine Surgery: All You Need to Know

Back pain is quite a common medical condition; almost every person has groaned “oh, my back!” once in their lifetime. The reasons for the back pain can be numerous ranging from minor muscle pull to severe disc herniation. Surgical treatment is required for back pain that is chronic and persists for more than a month. […]

Back pain is quite a common medical condition; almost every person has groaned “oh, my back!” once in their lifetime. The reasons for the back pain can be numerous ranging from minor muscle pull to severe disc herniation. Surgical treatment is required for back pain that is chronic and persists for more than a month. In the following paragraphs, you will be explained why open spine surgery is required, how it is performed, and other related information to help you understand the procedure.

Choosing Open Spine Surgery as a Treatment Option

When patients come to doctors complaining about back pain, initially doctors try to cure them with conservative treatments (read about comparison between surgical and nonsurgical back pain treatments). These include using medications, physiotherapies, massage, and other non-invasive techniques. However, if the spine is damaged severely, for example, there is a fracture in the vertebra, and the doctor sees no use in giving nonsurgical treatments, he/she will recommend an appropriate surgery.

A doctor explaining patient about the procedure of open spine surgery

Now, choosing between open or closed surgery takes into account multiple factors;

  • Personal preference of the patient
  • The expertise of the doctor (Not every doctor has the expertise to perform minimally invasive surgeries)
  • The success ratio of open vs closed surgery in the case under consideration
  • The medical condition of the patient. Patients who are above 70 take more time to recover after surgery and thus they are not fit for open surgery.

Open Spine Surgery Procedure

Before we go on to explain the procedure for open spine surgery, let’s go through pre-op instructions.

Pre-Op Guidelines to Follow

  • Six weeks before the day of surgery, you should stop consuming alcohol and smoking. Substances from alcohol and tobacco can get into your bloodstream and have an effect on your body’s reaction to anesthesia.
  • Two weeks prior to the surgery, you should not take any drugs or substances that can thin your blood. Increasing fluid intake and having plenty of sleep are recommended.
  • Get reports for all the tests recommended by your doctor. These normally include blood tests and medical imaging.
  • Get in good shape by engaging in a short course of physical therapy. It will improve your physical conditioning and elevate your activity level so as to expedite recovery after surgery.

Procedure

A standard open spine surgery starts with a large incision. There are two approaches used; Anterior and Posterior. Under the anterior approach, the incision is made in front of the body whereas, in the posterior approach, the surgeon accesses the vertebrae from the back of the body. The size of the incision is normally about six inches. After making an incision, the surgeon will get access to the vertebrae by dissecting the spinal muscles. This process of pulling spinal muscles away from the bone is called retraction.

Once the doctor has access to the affected region, he/she will perform necessary surgical procedures. These include removing a part or whole of the vertebra, fusing multiple vertebrae, etc. Following the procedure, the surgeon easily places screws or bone graft material to provide stability to the spine. After the surgery is complete, ligaments, skin, and muscles are stitched back as they were before.

The patient is transferred to an observation room where he/she is carefully monitored. The doctor and staff look for any signs of complication while the anesthesia wears off. Surgical drains can also be used for draining out any blood collected in epidural space during surgery.

Risks Involved in Open Spine Surgery

In the past, all the surgeries were open and therefore it is also called a traditional surgical method. However, with the advent of technology, it is now possible to perform some surgeries with the help of cameras and endoscopy instruments. This procedure is getting popularity as the traditional methods pose several risks;

  • Damage to the soft tissues during retraction
  • Excessive loss of blood
  • Failed back syndrome – when the surgery performed couldn’t cure the pain
  • Implant migration – a condition in which the implant installed by the surgeon shifts from the site it was placed.
  • Dural tear – During surgery, the doctor can accidentally nick the covering over the spinal cord

Recovery after Open Spine Surgery

A nurse helping patient with recovery from open spine surgery

Recovery from open spine surgery entails great discipline in terms of taking recommended diet, doing appropriate exercises, and having prescribed medication. You will need to follow a new lifestyle for a couple of months after your surgery. Given below are some of the things you can do to make your recovery comfortable and fast;

  • Twisting and bending after the surgery is contraindicated. Have a physical therapist assist you with learning how to get in and out of the bed.
  • Use a reacher to grab things off the floor and walk with the help of a cane.
  • While the wounds heal, you will experience a lot of pain that you can manage with prescribed medications.
  • Mostly, patients do not need any back braces but it’s recommended to have yourself checked by the doctor to know if you need to use a brace.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and stool softener to avoid constipation due to narcotic medications.
  • Take special care of the incision area. Protect it from water and germs to avoid infection development.
  • You will able to resume activities like driving, lifting light objects, sex, etc. after six weeks of the surgery. Complete rehabilitation can take anywhere between 2 to 6 months.
  • Visit your doctor and physical therapist regularly to ensure everything is fine.

Consult a Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles

Being in a situation where you need open spine surgery can be quite stressful. However, an experienced and empathetic spine surgeon working in one of the best neurosurgical clinics in Los Angeles can make things easy for you. That’s what Moksha Ranasinghe MD offers. You can schedule an appointment with her simply by filling out the contact form or calling 213-369-4583.

 

A person showing signs of cervical spinal stenosis

Things to Avoid with Cervical Spinal Stenosis

A series of connected bones (also known as vertebrae) and soft jelly-like discs make up your spine. These vertebrae together make a canal in which the spinal cord rests serving as a connection between your brain and body. Due to wear and tear or conditions like osteoarthritis, the spinal canal gets narrow and causes a […]

A series of connected bones (also known as vertebrae) and soft jelly-like discs make up your spine. These vertebrae together make a canal in which the spinal cord rests serving as a connection between your brain and body. Due to wear and tear or conditions like osteoarthritis, the spinal canal gets narrow and causes a medical condition known as spinal stenosis.

Best Spine surgeon in Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Do you need surgical treatment for Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Conservative treatments do not provide a permanent solution for cervical spinal stenosis. Sometimes, surgical treatment is the only resort to treat spine conditions. If you have been experiencing cervical spine pain and are not sure what treatment you need, you can consult Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery. To schedule an appointment, fill out the contact form or call 213-369-4583.

About Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis can occur in any part of the spine – upper, middle, or lower. If it occurs in the upper region of your spine (C1 – C7) i.e., neck, it is called cervical spinal stenosis. In some cases, stenosis can be severe enough to cause nerve compression or injury to the spinal cord leading to serious medical conditions. However, most of the patients can be treated or at least manage their stenosis pretty well with non-surgical treatments.

Causes

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is the deterioration of the spine that occurs over the years. Some people are also born with a condition in which the spinal canal is not fully developed. Other than these, the following are some of the causes of spinal stenosis;

Disc HerniationHerniated disc or slipped disc can cramp the space in the spinal canal.
OsteophytesOsteophytes also known as bone spurs are bony outgrowths developed along the vertebrae. These outgrowths, if large enough, can produce congestion within the spinal column.
Injuries – In case of vehicle accidents or any other event that causes injury to the spine, bones in the spine move out of place. It can result in swelling of the tissues which can put pressure on the nerves within the spine.
Tumors – Cancerous tumors can also be a cause of spinal stenosis as they produce compression in the spine.

In what follows, you will be explained things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis. Following these guidelines will help you recover from the condition without any invasive procedure.

Things to Avoid with Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Although cervical spinal stenosis is a musculoskeletal condition that cannot be properly treated but managed conservatively. To improve life quality, various conservative treatment protocols are adopted. Daily activities are monitored by patients themselves to accommodate their health conditions. The primary objective of the patients suffering from cervical stenosis is to avoid activities that elevate the symptoms. Hereinafter laid down are the things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis;

Avoid neck rotation exercises

A patient suffering from cervical spinal stenosis is suggested to avoid exercises that stress the neck and escalate the pain and discomfort. Slight degrees of flexion, extension, and bending of the neck are recommended but rolling or rotation exercises are highly contraindicated in the patient suffering from cervical spinal stenosis. To strengthen the neck and maintain range of motion, a few exercises are preferred including chin tuck, side tilt, and shoulder circles.

Avoid neck strains

One of the major things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis is to reduce the additional strain on the neck. Neck strain increases the chances of nerve impingement, muscular swelling, and muscle spasms which in turn lead to chronic cervical spinal stenosis. Strains on the neck can be escalated when you bend your neck while using mobiles and laptops for an extended period.

Avoid awkward neck postures

Multiple awkward neck postures are also common in patients suffering from cervical spinal stenosis. Avoid cradling your neck to your ear during calls, carrying overly heavy weights on your head, or one shoulder bag. These postures exert hyperextension stretches and impinge the nerve which in time paramount the joint stiffness and cervical spinal stenosis. Usage of hands-free and two-strap bags to expand weight on both shoulders symmetrically may reverse neurological damages.

Avoid Contact sports

Contact sports such as football, basketball, ice hockey, diving, jogging, and martial arts add additional trauma and are significantly risky to the cervical spine. In advanced cases, patients can face slipped discs and potential nerve impingement as well. Things to avoid with cervical spinal stenosis during contact sports are jerky movements, sudden ballistic movements, and whip-lash injuries which can worsen cervical spinal stenosis.

Avoid poor sleeping positions

Certain sleeping positions aggravate neck rotation which is extremely crucial for patients suffering from cervical spinal stenosis such as sleeping on your gut. Use appropriate neck braces to keep your cervical spine intact while you sleep.

Don’t ignore early symptoms

One of the mistakes people make with cervical spinal stenosis is ignoring indications when they are in the early stages. For example, while performing activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing, bathing, and showering, if you feel persistent pain in your neck you must get yourself checked timely.

Avoid Alcohol consumption and smoking

Consumption of excessive alcohol impedes the healing process and it can worsen limb numbness and weakness. One of the major things to avoid in cervical spinal stenosis is chronic alcoholism. Similarly, smoking accelerates nerve damage by compromising the vascular supply to the nerve through atherosclerosis. Avoiding smoking habits diminish local hypoxia and nerve damage.

Avoid poor dietary habits

A healthy diet helps in maintaining healthy body weights and keeps the discs hydrated. However, poor dietary habits increase body weight and inflammation as well. Heavyweights and bulky muscles put extra pressure on the cervical spine. Thus, avoiding poor dietary habits help in mimicking pain in patients with cervical spinal stenosis.

A young man showing signs of lower back pain due to weightlifting

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain from Lifting Weights?

It is quite common for people to experience lower back pain from lifting weights. Weightlifting can give you sore muscles and a bad back by putting extra pressure on your spine while you perform this activity. The lower back pain due to weight lifting fades away with time provided that you continue to maintain a […]

It is quite common for people to experience lower back pain from lifting weights. Weightlifting can give you sore muscles and a bad back by putting extra pressure on your spine while you perform this activity. The lower back pain due to weight lifting fades away with time provided that you continue to maintain a good form and do it the right way. However, if the pain persists and becomes worse over time, it can be a sign of serious medical conditions like spine damage or torn ligament.

Diagnosing the Cause

Before you start treating your lower back pain from lifting weights, you first must identify the root cause. As the treatment entirely depends upon the cause of the pain. If the pain is due to a minor spasm, non-surgical treatments would suffice but if you have damaged your vertebra, you will be going to need surgical treatments.

Pulling a back muscle during Weightlifting

A man sitting with his hand placed on back showing signs of pulled muscle

Muscles have fibers in them that are responsible to facilitate and organize the movement of your limbs and tissues. Symptoms of a pulled muscle in the back are;

  • Pain is concentrated in the lower back and doesn’t travel down to the legs or feet
  • In case of a muscle strain, the pain is usually dull, sore, and achy.
  • Patients with pulled muscle experience a limited range of motion. They also complain about feeling severe pain with specific movements for example bending forward or standing from a seated position.

Treatment

Pulled muscles, when compared to other back injuries, are easier to treat. Conservative treatments like therapies, medications, massage, and exercises can very much cure a strained or pulled muscle. In most cases, patients are rehabilitated within 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Take some rest – If you experience any of the symptoms above, immediately stop lifting weights otherwise the condition could get worse.
  • Use Ice and Heat Pads – Icing is normally done immediately after the injury to numb the area and reduce swelling. Once the swelling is controlled, then you can use the heat pads to increase the blood flow and expedite the healing process.
  • Keep moving – Gentle stretching exercises like Yoga after a couple of days of injury can strengthen the affected muscles. Other rehabilitation exercises include Knee-to-chest exercises, Figure of four (for deep muscle stretches), SLR (Straight leg raise), and Wall sits.
  • Soft tissue massage is the treatment of choice which is highly effective when done in the direction of fibers.
  • To relieve pain, stiffness, and discomfort, certain medications are prescribed to weightlifters which include NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen), muscle relaxants (baclofen), and topical ointments (capsaicin, lidocaine, and Diclofenac gel). These medications can help weightlifters in speeding up the recovery process in combination with other conservative treatments.
  • Application of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulator (TENS) and ultrasound in weightlifters can also help manage lower back pain.

Spine Injuries during Weightlifting

Muscle spasms and strains are common in weightlifting but sometimes, things can go bad and athletes end up injuring their spines. Such situations are not normally life-threatening but these require immediate surgical treatment. One of the most common spine injuries due to weight lifting is disc herniation.

Disc Herniation

Disc herniation refers to the slipping of the gel-like sac that is present between each of your vertebrae. In some cases, a person can have a slipped disc without even knowing about it. He/she might not experience any symptoms whatsoever. In other cases, the slipped disc can cause nerve compression leading to tingling and numbness in the back.

Treatment

If the herniated disc is causing chronic and persistent pain, your doctor can recommend the following invasive surgical procedures;

  • Decompression surgery
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Discectomy and microdiscectomy

For weightlifters, surgery must be avoided as the chances to resume your weightlifting career are very slim after a spine surgery.

Preventing Lower Back Pain from Lifting Weights

A coach helping a girl with posture adjustment

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Sports that are as extreme as weightlifting always come with chances of sustaining injury. Having said that, injuries can be avoided by being a little preventive. Given below is a list of a few important things you can follow to minimize the chances of any back injury and prevent lower back pain;

  • To decrease pain and increase function, muscle strengthening is highly preferred in weightlifters for future sustainability. As a result, the stronger the muscle, the lesser the chances of sustaining injuries during weightlifting.
  • Poor postures, flawed execution of exercises, lifting excessive weights and can lead to injuries in weightlifters, especially when doing squats and deadlifts.
  • Warm-up and cool-down exercises are mandatory before and after the session to enhance the flow of blood to your muscles and lessen the chance of injury.
  • Always start with sets of slight stretching exercises and slowly move towards the progression of a higher level of resistance.
  • Knee locks can be prevented when standing from sitting by keeping your knees soft and straightening your back throughout the lifting.
  • Ballistic exercises should be prevented until and unless monitored by a coach.
  • Use equipment like a back brace and belt to safeguard your spine against jerks and uncontrolled movements.
  • A coach is a must-have for weightlifters to always count for their attempts and safe activity performance.
  • Weightlifters’ education should be preferred for avoiding muscle overload exercises that are prone to injuries in the lumbar area.
Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

See Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe for Back Pain

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe for back pain treatment. You can fill out the contact form available on the website or call (213) 369-4583 to speak to someone at the clinic.

Stock image

How to Prepare Yourself for Back Surgery?

Once all the conservative treatments fail to relieve you of the back pain, back surgery is the last resort doctors often suggest. There could be a lot of reasons for which back surgery is performed; herniation/degeneration of disc, osteophytes or an injury to the spinal cord to name a few. After you have been given […]

Once all the conservative treatments fail to relieve you of the back pain, back surgery is the last resort doctors often suggest. There could be a lot of reasons for which back surgery is performed; herniation/degeneration of disc, osteophytes or an injury to the spinal cord to name a few. After you have been given the date of surgery, you must wonder if there is anything that I need to do or should not do. How do I prepare for the back surgery? You will find answers to these questions and many other similar ones in the article below.

Back surgery can be once in a lifetime experience and it is normal to have questions about the procedure. While the surgeon responsible for carrying out your surgery alerts you about the major do’s and don’ts, it is better to get to know about pre-surgery and post-surgery care. It won’t only help you with avoiding any possible complications but also make the road to recovery smooth.

Medical Clearance

Medical clearance refers to the preoperative evaluation that will be conducted by your doctor. It basically ensures that you are fit to undergo the proposed treatment and there are no life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the surgery. The surgeon you have chosen for your back surgery will ask you to get medical clearance from your doctor as it is a basic requirement before any surgery.

Cut down on Nicotine Usage

a doctor warning his patient to stay away from smoking

Nicotine intake is highly discouraged for patients who are supposed to undergo any major surgery. The benefits of quitting smoking are endless, however, the following are some ways in which nicotine intake in any form can be dangerous for someone going under the knife;

  • It inhibits the recovery process after surgery.
  • It disturbs the blood flow by narrowing the blood vessels.
  • Smokers run a greater risk of heart attack, pneumonia, and blood clots.
  • Smoking damages the lungs and makes it difficult for the patient to breathe normally under the influence of anesthesia.

It can take anywhere between 5 days to three weeks for your stomach to be detoxified of nicotine. So it is a good idea to stop smoking or any intake of nicotine 1 month before your surgery.

Eat Healthy

a couple cooking healthy food

Different surgical procedures require different diet plans not only in terms of what can or cannot be eaten before and after the surgery but also to follow a recommended diet plan that can make surgery a success. Stated below are some general eating guidelines that patients are expected to follow when preparing for back surgery;

  • A healthy body recovers faster after surgery than a non-healthy one. Following this, take a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients and proteins. Sources of protein can be eggs, meat, low-fat milk, and fish.
  • Generally, patients are advised to eat nothing 7 to 8 hours before the surgery
  • You must be taking several anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen and Naproxen to help you manage your back pain, however, you must stop having them 2 weeks prior to the surgery. Also, avoid blood thinners like aspirin so the risk of excessive blood loss can be minimized.

Seeing a nutritionist is recommended in such cases as they are professional and can devise a tailored-fit diet plan for you. Eating habits can make a world of difference in your road to recovery from back surgery.

Get Equipment to Help Yourself

an old lady trying to reach for her glasses with the help of a grabber

Recovering from back surgery can take a lot of time. During the recovery period, you won’t be able to perform routine activities like driving, bathing, getting in and out of bed, moving around, etc. the same way you used to do before surgery. It would be a good idea to buy some equipment that can help you move around. These include;

  • A walker
  • Recliners
  • Back brace
  • Bathroom accessories (Shower seat/Toilet Seat)
  • Grabber devices

Rehabilitation after Back Surgery

Having successful back surgery is only a half-done job. Complete recovery takes a lot of discipline and effort. It is not uncommon to feel extreme pain after the first few days of the surgery. Moreover, serious complications might arise if patients become negligent. To avoid such situations, seeing a professional physiotherapist would be a good idea. He/she will chalk out a plan for you to ensure a smooth recovery and help you get back to living a normal life again after back surgery.

Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Get a Second Opinion on Your Back Surgery

If you happen to be in Los Angeles, you can see Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery for an expert opinion on getting back surgery. She has been treating patients with back problems for many years and is rated as the best neurosurgeon in Los Angeles by findatopdoc.com for three consecutive years (2019-2021). Here at our facility, the staff is professionally trained to help patients with their treatments and recovery. You can rely on us for complete treatment of your back problems. To schedule an appointment, you can fill out the contact form given below or call us at (213) 369-4583.

Bone spurs causing disc osteophyte complex

Disc Osteophyte Complex: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Disc osteophyte complex is a spinal ailment caused due to the formation of osteophytes in the spine affecting the intervertebral disc. Osteophytes (also called bone spurs) are the bony outgrowths that can develop as a result of your body’s natural reaction to any damage or irritation caused to the bones or ligaments in the spine. […]

Disc osteophyte complex is a spinal ailment caused due to the formation of osteophytes in the spine affecting the intervertebral disc. Osteophytes (also called bone spurs) are the bony outgrowths that can develop as a result of your body’s natural reaction to any damage or irritation caused to the bones or ligaments in the spine. These bone spurs when developed on multiple vertebrae can causes compression in the spinal cord or on the nerve roots.

See a spine surgeon in Los Angeles: If you are experiencing any symptoms of Osteophyte complex, you can consult our doctor in Los Angeles by calling at 213-369-4583 or filling out the contact form on our website.

You might also want to read: What are the things to avoid when suffering from Cervical Spinal Stenosis?

Causes and Symptoms of Disc Osteophyte Complex

A young woman in her bed showing signs of neck pain

As mentioned above, the development of osteophytes is a result of the body’s reaction to damage. This reaction can take place due to one of the following reasons;

  • It can be due to shock, trauma, or any direct injury to the bones in the spine.
  • The Disc Osteophyte complex can also occur due to aging or obesity as both weaken the spine over time. As a result, the body starts producing bone spurs to provide stability to the deteriorating structure of the spine.
  • Bone spurs that lead to the development of the Disc Osteophyte Complex can also be caused when the cartilage between the discs is torn.

At times, symptoms do not become noticeable immediately. When the bone spurs start to grow, they start compressing the nerves giving you a sensation of mild pain. Depending upon the location of the osteophytes (Cervical, Thoracic, or Lumbar), a patient can show different symptoms including;

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Headache
  • Numbness and tingling in one or both arms
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Radiating pain in arms, shoulders, or thighs
  • Pain that increases with physical activities

How is the Disc Osteophyte Complex diagnosed?

You might already know that the spine is categorized as cervical (C1-C7 vertebrae), thoracic (T1-T12), and lumbar (L1-L5). Osteophytes can be developed in any part of the spine. For diagnosis, your doctor will start by going through your medical history. He/she will also check for swelling and points of pain by palpation. If a patient shows signs of Disc Osteophyte Complex in physical examination, the doctor conducts imaging tests like X-ray or MRI to get an internal picture and ensure the presence of the disease.

Treatments for Disc Osteophyte Complex

Once the presence of the Disc Osteophyte Complex is confirmed, patients can be recommended surgical or nonsurgical treatments (such as using pain-killers, massages, and back braces). It primarily depends upon the medical condition of the patient and the severity of the disease for determining what treatment to go for. Conservative treatments include the following;

An old man getting massage therapy

Therapy and Massage – Therapies involve gentle exercises, yoga, and stretches that help to relieve tension around the spine muscles and improve the range of motion in vertebrae.
Medications – Non-steroidal drugs, pain killers, muscle relaxants, spinal injection, and anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are the medications doctor normally recommends for pain relief due to bone spurs.
Weight control – If you are overweight, the first thing your doctor will tell you is to lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight takes the pressure off the spine and decreases the pain due to bone spurs.
Acupuncture – Some acupuncturists claim to treat pain due to bone spurs using herbal products.

Related readings: You can read about the comparison between surgical and non-surgical treatments for back pain in another article on our website.

Non-surgical treatments can only help in relieving pain but they do not provide a permanent solution to the problem. Bone spurs keep growing over time and can cause severe pain (paralysis in some cases) if left untreated.

Osteophytectomy Procedures

The procedure through which osteophytes or bone spurs are cut is called osteophytectomy. According to the diagnostic reports, different surgical procedures can be used to treat Disc Osteophyte Complex.

Laminectomy
This procedure is carried out when bone spurs are compressing the spinal nerves. The doctor removes the bone spur or any other tissue which is causing pressure on the nerve roots. This creates space for the compressed nerves to relax and thus relieves the patient of the pain.

Foraminotomy
Foraminotomy serves the same objective as Laminectomy however, instead of removing a part from the vertebrae, it enlarges the pathway (known as Formen) through which nerves pass.

Open vs Minimally Invasive Surgery
In the past, most surgical treatments required making a large incision in the body. This approach had many drawbacks; more pain, longer hospital stays, and longer recovery time to name a few. With the advent of technology in the field of surgery, now doctors can treat patients with video-assisted surgeries. This method is called Minimally Invasive surgery. Disc Osteophyte Complex can be treated with such a procedure provided that the surgeon has the required skills and equipment.

Recovery after Surgery
Like with any other major surgery, recovery after osteophyte removal also takes time. If the procedure was minimally invasive, the healing process is relatively faster. However, in the case of open surgery, complete recovery can take up to anywhere between 3 to 6 months.

Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Talk to a Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles

If you have been experiencing any symptoms indicative of Disc Osteophyte Complex, you can talk to our doctors at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery. Here we have Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe who is a provides healthcare services to patients suffering from spine and brain diseases. You can easily schedule an appointment by filling out the contact form available on our website or calling (213) 369-4583.

A lady with a bend in her spine

Scoliosis Surgery: What is it and how is it performed?

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity in which the spine is curved sideways. It is most commonly found in adolescents who are born with it for reasons yet to be discovered. However, adults can also develop scoliosis due to degeneration of discs or reasons that could not be discovered during childhood like cerebral palsy.If the curve […]

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity in which the spine is curved sideways. It is most commonly found in adolescents who are born with it for reasons yet to be discovered. However, adults can also develop scoliosis due to degeneration of discs or reasons that could not be discovered during childhood like cerebral palsy.
If the curve in the spine is mild, doctors keep it under observation with regular X-rays to make sure the curve is not getting worse. However, for a severe curve, scoliosis surgery is performed to restore the original form of the spine.

Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

See a Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles for Scoliosis Surgery

In cases as sensitive as Scoliosis, it is recommended that you see a spine specialist for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. If you are in Los Angeles, you can visit Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery and see Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe for Scoliosis treatment. She has been treating patients with spine diseases for many years and has been rated as the best spine surgeon in Los Angeles for three consecutive years by findatopdoc. You can schedule an appointment with her by filling out the patient form or calling (213) 369-4583.

Types of Scoliosis

Based on the causes, scoliosis can be categorized as follow;

Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis starts developing when a baby is inside his mother’s womb. During fetal development, vertebrae are not completely formed leaving a sharp bend in the spine.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis is another very common type of scoliosis mostly found in kids. Sometimes weakening of back muscles due to conditions like Spina bifida and cerebral palsy causes the spine to bend. It happens because back muscles fail to provide the necessary strength and thus the spine loses its shape.

Degenerative Scoliosis

This form of scoliosis is more likely to be found in adults than in kids. It occurs when a spine gets deformed due to wear and tear. Degeneration of the spine is a result of aging, tumors, infections, or arthritis.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

When the cause of scoliosis could not be identified, it is commonly referred to as Idiopathic scoliosis. Like congenital scoliosis, it is present at the time of birth for unknown reasons. It is normally understood that idiopathic scoliosis is caused due to some genetic factors that run in families.

Who Qualifies for Scoliosis Surgery?

As mentioned earlier, mild curvatures or bends in the spine are treated in nonsurgical ways like using braces, massage, and physical therapies. Curvature is considered to be sharp and problematic if;

  • It is greater than 50 degrees (in kids who are still growing)
  • It is greater than 50 degrees that have progressed more than 10 degrees (in patients who have reached skeletal maturity)
  • Hindering the functionality of the parson
  • Causing unbearable pain
  • Becoming problematic for the heart and lungs

Scoliosis Surgery

Spine surgeon standing in operation theatre

Provided that the conservative treatments for Scoliosis fail, doctors recommend patients for surgery. Spinal fusion is the most common surgical procedure used to cure scoliosis.

Spinal Fusion Surgery

In this procedure, the doctor fuses the vertebrae to remove the bend in the spine and correct its deformity. The fusion is carried out by using bone grafts or metal implants like rods and screws. Spinal fusion is found to be effective in restoring curvature by 50 percent or more.

Procedure

The doctor will make an incision to reach where fusion needs to be performed. For this purpose, an Anterior or Posterior approach can be used. In the former approach, the surgeon approaches the spine from the front rather than from the back like in posterior surgery. Posterior is the most frequently used approach when it comes to treating scoliosis and adolescents or adults.

Once the surgeon has access to the spine, he/she will make adjustments to remove the curvature and straighten the spine. It also involves placing the rods or bone grafting material acquired from the patient’s body. The whole procedure can last anywhere between 4 to 8 hours depending upon the severity of the curvature and the number of points where fusion is needed. After the surgery is complete, the incision is stitched.

Other than anterior and posterior surgical procedures, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is also being performed these days (also known as Video-Assisted Surgery). In MIS, spinal fusion is carried out using advanced cameras and surgical equipment. The surgeon performs the complete surgery through a very small incision in the body. MIS is preferred as it is less painful and has a very short recovery period.

Recovery after Scoliosis Surgery

Going through fusion surgery is only half the job done. For the vertebrae to fuse completely, you will be required to follow a complete recovery plan that involves taking medication, physical therapies, following a recommended diet plan, etc.
You will be able to move after two to three days of the scoliosis surgery. To fully recover and go back to doing normal physical activities can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months. For a smooth recovery from the scoliosis surgery, follow the instructions given below;

  • Take complete bed rest during the first week after the surgery to let the wound heal.
  • Keep the incision site clean and dry
  • Avoid bending or twisting your back
  • Take protein-rich food, fruits, and vegetables
  • See a physiotherapist for helping yourself with the recovery process. He will chalk out a plan for you that will involve light exercises and massages.

3D model of human skeleton showing brachial plexus region

Brachial Plexus Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Brachial Plexus is the part of the peripheral nervous system responsible for controlling the movement in your arm, shoulder, and hand. It is a bundle of nerves that stems from the nerves root in the neck region (cervical) just above the torso and extends down to your arms, and hands. An injury to this part […]

Brachial Plexus is the part of the peripheral nervous system responsible for controlling the movement in your arm, shoulder, and hand. It is a bundle of nerves that stems from the nerves root in the neck region (cervical) just above the torso and extends down to your arms, and hands. An injury to this part is known as Brachial Plexus injury which can result in serious medical conditions.

In the following paragraphs, you will learn about different types of Brachial Plexus Injuries, their causes, symptoms, and treatments. Reading this article will help you better understand if you are suffering from a Brachial Plexus Injury or if it is just a minor muscle spasm.

Types of Brachial Plexus Injury

3D model of human skeleton showing the area affected with brachial plexus injury

An injury to Brachial Plexus can be due to nerve compression or complete rupture depending upon the nature of the injury.

Overstretching of Nerves

Stretching of nerves beyond a safe point is known as Neuropraxia and it is divided into two categories;
Compression Neuropraxia – Nerves in Brachial Plexus can get compressed due to abnormal rotation of the head resulting in pain and discomfort. It is more common in old-aged people.
Traction Neuropraxia – Traction occurs when a nerve in Brachial Plexus is pulled down due to the widening of the shoulder or the neck. This type is less common and is more likely to be found in young and adolescents.
The pain due to overstretched or nerve traction is also known as “stinger” and “burner” as patients feel a stinging or burning sensation.

Rupturing of Nerves

In case of severe injury, the nerves in the shoulder can also get ruptured or torn. It results in partial or permanent damage to the shoulder resulting in weakness of the arm, shoulder, and hand. This condition is more serious and painful and is often treated with surgery.

Causes of Brachial Plexus Injury

There can be several causes of injury to Brachial Plexus including;

Dystocia (Difficult Birth) – Difficult births are one of the major causes of Brachial Plexus Injury in newborns. A condition called Brachial Plexus Palsy occurs when a child’s shoulder gets squeezed in the birth canal during delivery resulting in the paralysis of the shoulder or arm.
Sports Injuries – Contact sports like football, martial arts, wrestling, boxing, etc. can cause Brachial Plexus Injury. People who participate in such activities always run the risk of getting their nerves stretched or ruptured due to overextension or direct blows to the neck.
Vehicle Accidents – Motor accidents cause trauma resulting in the compression or rupturing of peripheral nerves.
Tumors – People who suffer from cancer grow tumors along their brachial plexus that put pressure on the nerves in the shoulder and around the neck. Tumors can also grow due to cancer-treating therapies used for checking the chest.

Symptoms of Brachial Plexus Injury

Following are some of the common symptoms of Brachial Plexus Injury;

  • Limping arm
  • Numbness in arms and hands
  • Burning or stinging sensation felt in arm or shoulder
  • In case of severe injuries, patients experience a complete loss of control over the shoulder, arm, hand, or wrist movement

Treatment for Brachial Plexus Injury

Both surgical and nonsurgical methods are used for the treatment of Brachial Plexus Injury. Based on diagnosis, the doctor recommends one of the treatments.

Nonsurgical Treatments for Brachial Plexus Injuries

The objective of conservative/nonsurgical treatments is to restore the range of motion in arms, manage pain, and strengthen the muscles. There are several non-invasive techniques you can use to treat Brachial Plexus injury;

Physical Massage and Therapies – Certain exercises and massages can help you improve and restore the range of motion in your arms. Seeing a physiotherapist is recommended for relieving stiffness in muscles and joints.

Medication – If your doctor feels that your condition will improve with time on its own, he/she will put you on medication. It will help you manage the pain while you recover from brachial plexus injury.

Occupational Therapy – These therapies are more focused on modifying the way you perform your day-to-day activities like cooking, washing, working in the office, etc.

Using Casts and Splints – Based on the MRI or CT scans, the doctor diagnoses if the injury is severe or not. In case of mild injury, the doctor will have you get a customized cast to wear for a week or two and then do the scans again. Based on the progress, you will be given a new cast to wear and it will continue till the damaged nerves get in place.

Surgical Treatments for Brachial Plexus Injury

Conservative treatments are good for mild injuries only. In case of nerve rupture or avulsion, surgical treatments are the only available treatments. Depending upon the severity, nature, time since the injury has occurred, and other conditions, your doctor may carry out one of the following surgical procedures;
Nerve Transfer – In this procedure, the surgeon finds a nearby functioning nerve and connects it to the injured nerve providing a pathway for signals.
Nerve Graft – Just like in other grafting surgeries, a different part of the body is used to replacing the injured part. In a nerve graft, a nerve is taken for example from the legs and then the injured nerve is replaced with the nerve taken.
Transfer of tendon and muscle – It involves attaching a paralyzed tendon as a result of Brachial Plexus Injury to a functioning and expandable tendon. After the transfer is complete, the functioning tendon will restore the lost movement in the injured tendon over a certain period.
Nerve repair – This procedure involves reattaching torn or pulled nerves by sewing.

Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

See a Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles

Consult a Neurosurgeon now! Problems like Brachial Plexus Injury are not to be taken lightly, we would recommend you to schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon and discuss your ailment in detail. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, you can see Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery. She is one of the most renowned neurosurgeons in Los Angeles who has been treating patients with spine conditions for more than 10 years. Fill out the contact form or call us at (213) 369-4583 to schedule an appointment.

A man sitting on a bed showing signs of lower back pain due to Cauda Equina SYndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Recovery

Lower back and leg pain can be associated with a lot of medical reasons. If the pain is due to a muscle pull or minor injury, it goes away with conservative treatments like massage therapies and medicines. However, sometimes the pain is due to a compression in nerves caused by a herniated disc or bone […]

Lower back and leg pain can be associated with a lot of medical reasons. If the pain is due to a muscle pull or minor injury, it goes away with conservative treatments like massage therapies and medicines. However, sometimes the pain is due to a compression in nerves caused by a herniated disc or bone spurs, in these conditions immediate surgical treatment is required. One of such conditions is Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) which occurs due to nerve compression in the area where the spinal cord ends.

What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

A 3-D model of human spine

“Cauda Equina” is a Latin word that means horse’s tail. In medicine, it is referred to as the bundle of spinal nerves (resembling the shape of a horse’s tail) and nerve roots present just below the spinal cord in the sacral region. Severe compression on these spine nerves due to any deformity in the spine is called Cauda Equina Syndrome.

What Causes Cauda Equina Syndrome?

There can be a lot of different causes of CES. The most common causes include;

  • Massive Disc Herniation
  • Spinal tumor
  • Epidural Hematoma
  • Lumbar Anesthesia
  • Birth Abnormalities
  • Infection

Symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Early symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome resemble symptoms of other spine diseases thus making the diagnosis a little tricky. These symptoms include weakness in the legs and reflexes, pain in the lower back, and pain in the legs and ankles. However, some red flag symptoms should raise caution in a medical practitioner. According to the latest research, red flag symptoms of the disease are;

  • Pain in both legs (Sciatica)
  • Losing control over bladder movement. For example, an altered awareness of the need to urinate. The patient loses sensation in the bladder in case of complete damage.
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Losing bowel control
  • Tingling or numbness in buttocks and nearby area

Mentioned above are some early red flag symptoms that can be diagnosed by a doctor by conducting a physical examination, however, to be fully sure of the existence of the disease, the doctor may conduct diagnostic procedures like MRI, CT scan, or Myelogram.

Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Life-threatening?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is not recognized as a life-threatening disease but if left untreated, it can lead to permanent paralysis of one or both legs. In addition to this, patients also lose complete control over bowel and bladder control.

The problem with CES is that by the time its symptoms become evident or reported by the patient, the patient has already entered a critical condition. Therefore, immediate surgery is required once the existence of the disease is established. According to the latest medical research, surgery must be carried out after 8 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms for the best chances of recovery.

Treatments for Cauda Equina Syndrome

A surgeon picking up the surgery equipment

Surgical treatments for CES are similar to the ones used for other diseases involving spinal compressions. The objective is to decompress the nerves and remove the pressure to relieve the pain. For this purpose, a neurosurgeon follows the procedure explained below.

Cauda Equina Syndrome Treatment in Los Angeles: Visit Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery for the best treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome. Fill out the contact form given below or call us at 213-369-4583.

Surgery for Cauda Equina Syndrome

After giving you general anesthesia, the doctor will uncover the lumbar region by making an incision. Once the doctor has access to the infected part, he/she will decide the approach to be used to remove compression of the nerves. Depending upon the nature and severity of the condition, discectomy or laminectomy can be performed. In the former, a portion of the herniated disc is removed whereas, in the latter, a greater portion of the bone (lamina) covering the roof of the spinal canal is removed. Both procedures relieve the unnecessary stress on the spinal nerves relieving patients of the pain.

Just like any other spine surgery, surgery for Cauda Equina Syndrome has also some risks associated with it. In most cases, patients recover without any major complications. Having said that, the following are some post-surgical risk factors a patient might experience;

  • Infection in incision
  • Blood clot
  • Dural tear causing the leakage of Cerebrospinal (CSF)
  • Failed Back Syndrome

Recovery after Surgery

Your surgical wounds will heal within two weeks and you will start feeling the improvement in your health condition. However, the recovery period continues over several weeks. During this time, it is important to consult a physiotherapist and get yourself into a rehabilitation program. Massages and therapies can expedite the recovery process and make it comfortable for you. It will take up to 2 years to completely recover and go back to live a healthy life.

Neurosurgeon Los Angeles - Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Get in Touch with Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Here at Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery, Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe provides surgical treatments for patients suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome and other spine diseases. She has been featured as the best neurosurgeon in Los Angeles for three consecutive years by findatopdoc. You can easily schedule an appointment by filling out the contact form or calling (213) 369-4583

An old woman showing symptoms of back pain due to pinched nerve

Pinched Nerve Treatments: All you need to Know

Pain and stiffness in the back, neck, and legs can be a result of pinched nerves in your spine. Spinal nerves are responsible for communication between your brain and body. These nerves can get compressed due to pressure from the surrounding tissues, bone spurs/osteophytes slipped or herniated discs, etc. In the following sections, you will […]

Pain and stiffness in the back, neck, and legs can be a result of pinched nerves in your spine. Spinal nerves are responsible for communication between your brain and body. These nerves can get compressed due to pressure from the surrounding tissues, bone spurs/osteophytes slipped or herniated discs, etc. In the following sections, you will get to learn about the surgical and non-surgical pinched nerve treatments and how it is diagnosed.

An old woman showing symptoms of back pain due to pinched nerve

How do I know if I have a Pinched Nerve?

While the diagnostic tests for spinal cord injuries can only be conducted at the doctor’s office, there are a couple of tests you can use to diagnose pinched nerves at home. As mentioned above, pinched nerves can occur anywhere along the spine (Cervical, Thoracic, or Lumbar) so different physical tests are used to diagnose pinched nerves at different locations in the body.

Wherever the compression occurs, the most common symptoms include the following;

  • Sharp burning pain radiating down from the neck
  • Numbness and tingling in arms, legs, and feet
  • Muscle weakness near the affected part
  • Loss of bladder and bowel movement in extreme conditions

You can perform the following physical tests;

Head turn test – This is to diagnose pinched nerves in the cervical spine i.e., neck. Stand still and turn your face to the painful side. If you feel extreme pain or find it difficult to move your head through a complete range of motion, it indicates the presence of pinched nerves.
Straight leg-raise test SLR – SLR is a physical exam used to diagnose any compression in the lower part of the spine. The patient lies down on the ground right side up and raises one of his legs if he experiences pain during the experience that is unbearable, it shows the signs of spinal nerve compression.

Non-surgical Methods for Pinched Nerve Treatments

As a first resort, doctors try to cure the pinched nerves with conservative treatments also known as non-invasive pinched nerve treatments. These include the following;

Posture Adjustment

When experiencing back pain, the first thing you should worry about is your posture. At times, we do not pay attention to the way we sit, stand, and sleep. People who sit for 8 to 9 hours in front of a laptop screen are more likely to develop poor posture. It can result in unnecessary stress on the spine leading to nerve compression. You can maintain a good posture by;

  • Using ergonomic furniture such as adjustable chairs and cushions
  • Experimenting with different sitting positions to note which position gives you the maximum comfort
  • Learning to do the physical activities in the right way for example lifting heavy objects
  • Using back braces to keep your spine straight

Medications

Medicines are normally used to relieve the patient of back pain due to pinched nerves rather than treating it. However, in some cases compression in spinal nerves is due to swelling or inflammation in the muscle. In such a situation, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to reduce swelling and relieve the pressure of the pinched nerve.

Heat & Ice Therapies

Heat & Ice therapies are considered to be very effective pinched nerve treatments. Doctors recommend treatments for minor nerve compressions caused due to inflammation or swelling.
Ice therapy is used first to reduce the swelling and redness around the muscle. You can use an ice pack or a bag with frozen peas in it. Press the bag against the injured area for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the process three times a day.
Once the swelling is gone, you can provide heat to the injured area using a heating pad or hot water bottle. It will help regulate the blood flow.

Surgical Procedures for Pinched Nerve Treatments

Sometimes, spinal nerve compression is due to a slipped disc or any other injury to the spine. In such cases, non-invasive treatments fail to relieve pain and leave patients with no choice but to go for surgical treatment. Depending upon the severity and location of the pinched nerves, your doctor can recommend you one of the following surgical pinched nerve treatments;

  • Laminectomy surgery – Involves the removal of the lamina from the lower spine to create space in the spinal canal. This is how space is created for the pinched nerves and unnecessary stress is removed.
  • ForaminotomyForaminotomy gets its name from foramina – Specialized gaps in spinal joints through which nerves enter and leave the spinal canal. In this procedure, the surgeon enlarges the foramina that have been blocked due to the outgrowth of a bone and thus causing nerve compression.
  • Discectomy – Discectomy means cutting out the disc. It refers to the removal of damaged parts of spinal discs (a condition known as a herniated or degenerative disc) that are causing pressure on the nerves.
  • Corpectomy – It is performed on the cervical spine (or neck) and involves the removal of vertebral bone to create space for the pinched nerve.

All these surgical procedures for pinched nerve treatment are carried out to achieve one objective i.e., to remove the compression from the nerves and relieve the pain.

Pinched nerves can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and ignoring the problem only makes it worse. If you have been experiencing any symptoms of pinched nerves, the best thing to do is to see an experienced doctor.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Here in Los Angeles, you can visit our medical facility – Southern California Brain and Spine Surgery for pinched nerve treatment. You can talk to Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe who serves here as a spine surgeon. She has treated several patients with spinal diseases and helped them fully recover. To schedule an appointment, you can fill out the contact form available on the website. You can also get in touch with someone at the clinic directly by calling (213) 369-4583.