Yes. Artificial disc replacement (ADR), sometimes referred to as TDR (total disc replacement), is used to correct pain, loss of mobility, and tingling resulting from a degenerative or herniated disc. Our surgeons are experienced in cervical disc replacement, which involves the damaged disc being removed in favor of an artificial disc. Compared to the traditional operative treatment using spinal fusion, an artificial disc replacement can offer better flexibility and movement.
The goal of the procedure is to ease back pain while also maintaining more normal motion than is allowed with some other procedures, such as spinal fusion. Still, not everyone with low back pain is a good candidate for disk replacement surgery. Your NJ Spine and Orthopedic doctor will perform some tests to see if this is the right procedure for you.
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion—sometimes referred to as simply “TLIF”—is a spine surgery meant to stabilize the spinal vertebra and the disc or shock absorber between the vertebrae. During this procedure, the lumbar disc is approached from the posterior to remove damaged disc material. This creates solid bone between the adjoining vertebra, eliminating any movement between the bones. Ultimately, TLIF may be right for you if you want to reduce pain and nerve irritation.
In this case, “Interbody” refers to a bone graft that’s inserted between two vertebrae to fuse the area and provide stabilization of the spine. This surgery may be recommended for conditions such as spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, or recurrent disc herniations.
A coccyx surgery, sometimes referred to as a Coccygectomy, is the surgical removal of the tailbone. This surgery is performed for pain in the tailbone region (coccydynia) when conservative treatment options such as rest, painkillers, physiotherapy, and steroid injections have failed. In other words, any patient who’s already exhausted more conservative methods of treatment but continues to suffer from crippling or chronic tailbone pain could be considered a candidate for a coccygectomy.
Ideal candidates include those who have increased mobility in their tailbone, experienced a change in shape to their tailbone or a small bone spur at the end of their tailbone, have a documented positive response to other injection treatments, or who experience a fluid-filled sac at the joint above the tailbone. At NJ Spine and Orthopedic, our spine and orthopedic surgeons are very familiar with providing permanent relief from severe tailbone pain.
The S.I. Fix System is indicated for Sacroiliac joint fusion for conditions including minor joint instability and degenerative sacroiliitis. Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery may be suggested to treat sacroiliac joint pain when nonsurgical treatments are ineffective. A bone graft or instruments are used to encourage bone growth over the sacroiliac joint and create one immobile unit in a fusion surgery. The S.I. Fix Implant is designed to provide immediate S.I. joint stabilization and allow long-term fusion.
The S.I. Fix Implant involves minimal midline skin incisions and a minimally disruptive technique that reduces operative time, tissue trauma, and post-operative pain compared to other fusion techniques. On average, patients who’ve had minimally invasive spine surgery are discharged in half the time of traditional surgery, and the pain usually follows this rule. Each procedure will have a different rate of recovery.
In general, minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgery aims to stabilize the vertebral bones and spinal joints and relieve the pressure being applied to the spinal nerves. While this procedure can be instrumental in helping reduce your back pain, you’re often unable to function the way you usually would for a period of time following, which can disrupt your life. If you’ve just had minimally invasive back surgery, you may be curious how soon after the operation you can return to work.
In general, the decision to return to work should be individualized to the patient and their occupation. For patients with sedentary jobs, such as office work, a minimally invasive discectomy would allow them to begin part-time work within 1-2 weeks. For a more complicated surgery such as a fusion, this may take 4-6 weeks. Of course, returning to work is much faster when you’ve had minimally invasive surgery vs. traditional open surgery, but this decision is individualized to each patient’s particular needs.
A popular way to sidestep back pain and improve posture is to wear a back brace. These helpful support systems hold up your back in the best position, preventing strain while you’re sitting and standing. Back braces may be helpful while you’re at work, exercising, and in a variety of other situations. However, you may be curious if wearing a brace is required, and if so, for how long.
Although most patients are provided a brace, this is for comfort only. Minimally invasive techniques that preserve muscle function, along with specialized implants that act as an internal brace, allow the patient to avoid having to wear a brace. If you choose to wear a brace, it’s typically recommended that you do so on a short-term basis. Wearing a brace longer than recommended is thought to contribute to muscle atrophy and dependence on the brace, ultimately weakening the back. Most patients find that the brace improves their pain for about 1-2 weeks, and thereafter it’s only worn occasionally.
Many people will think that they don’t need to undergo physical therapy once their surgery is complete. However, physical therapy is an essential component of a rapid recovery. It’s always important to ensure that your muscles and spine work correctly together after any surgical procedure is performed. Physical therapy can maximize short and long-term results of minimally invasive spine procedures, which can lessen the likelihood of recurrence.
Of course, the type and length of your physical therapy will depend on each patient’s unique needs. In most cases, physical therapy starts 2-6 weeks after surgery, depending on the surgery performed and the patient’s overall condition. Every patient that undergoes back surgery will recover at their own pace, and having a trained specialist on your side may help you more quickly get back to your daily routine.
If you’re having surgery, it’s natural to have concerns about pain after the procedure as well as the risks associated with substantial pain medications. Different types of pain medicine are available, and your doctor can help you pick the right one. In general, Tylenol and anti-inflammatory medications are common after surgery, with some patients requesting prescription medication to ease pain, particularly 48-72 hours after surgery.
Additionally, there are other ways to reduce pain after surgery besides medication. For example, using ice or heat applications can help to ease soreness or discomfort. Ultimately, you and your surgeon will decide what type of pain control would be most acceptable for you after surgery. After surgery, you’ll be frequently assessed to ensure you’re comfortable and safe. When necessary, adjustments or changes to your pain management regimen will take place.