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Is Pinched Nerve Surgery Dangerous

Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery For A Pinched Nerve

Cervical Radiculopathy | âPinchedâ? Nerve in Neck Rehab (Education | Exercises | Surgery | Myths)

Minimally invasive spine surgery is an approach that can provide many advantages compared to traditional open spine surgery. Among these benefits are a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time^ when compared to traditional procedures.

At USA Spine Care, we are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and weve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief since 2005. When you are researching your pinched nerve surgery options, its important to understand there are many types of pinched nerve surgeries that may be recommended depending on your specific condition and pathology. For instance, at USA Spine Care, we offer four primary minimally invasive decompression procedures for patients who have been diagnosed with a pinched nerve related to a spine condition. These include:

  • Laminotomy. A surgeon carefully removes a portion of the lamina, which is a part of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord.
  • Foraminotomy. The foramina are openings between the vertebrae where a nerve root has space to branch off the spinal cord. The procedure allows them to be widened, relieving pressure on the nerve root.
  • Discectomy. The portion of a damaged disc irritating the spinal nerve is removed or reduced.
  • Facet thermal ablation. The affected nerve ending within a vertebral joint is deadened, inhibiting the bodys ability to detect arthritic pain in the region.

Effectiveness Of Lumbar Decompression Surgery

There’s good evidence that decompression surgery can be an effective treatment for people with severe pain caused by compressed nerves.

Up to 3 in every 4 people who have the operation experience a significant improvement in pain. People who found walking difficult before surgery because of leg pain or weakness are often able to walk further and more easily after the operation.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve

  • Radiating pain, such as sciatica
  • Numbness or limited sensation in the area by the nerve
  • Sharp pain which may emit outward from the pain site
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Sensation that a body part has fallen asleep
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area

In most cases, a pinched nerve is easy for Dr. Lloydine Jacobs to diagnose because the pain youre experiencing radiates along the path of your nerve. Ignoring these symptoms can result in irreversible nerve damage and permanent injury if untreated.

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Which Treatments Have You Already Tried

There are several ways to manage sciatica without surgery, depending on the cause. They may include pain relief medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, aquatic therapy, meditation and nerve blocks, among others. What works for one person may not be as effective for someone else.

There are several types of doctors who treat sciatica pain. If you feel like you have exhausted your options with your primary care physician, consider making an appointment with a rehabilitation physician or a pain medicine specialist before calling a surgeon. Because every person experiences pain differently, it often takes working with the right specialist to find the combination of treatments that works for you.

Do You Have One Of The Four Signs Your Neck Pain Needs More Than Conservative Treatment

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If youve worked with your doctor about a pinched nerve in your neck, youve probably tried a battery of treatments. For many people, medications, physical therapy, and adjustments to daily routines dont provide relief.

When all other therapy options fail, surgery is usually the next treatment option. But when does a pinched nerve need surgery?

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What If Ive Already Had Surgery Done Should I Get Neck Surgery Again

In some situations, another operation is needed. This is after conservative measures are ruled out.

Injury, surgery failure, and general wear and tear can require another surgery. This will be up to your surgeon. If its from wear and tear, you may be able to have the same surgery again. If its from injury, you may be able to have it surgically restored. If its from failure, you may need to have the surgery repeated or a different surgery or therapy performed.

What Causes Pinched Nerve Symptoms

You can develop a pinched nerve for a variety of reasons, including spinal issues like a herniated disc where a spinal disc compresses the nerve root. Symptoms can arise from holding your body in one position for extended period of time, such as keeping elbows bent while sleeping. Other causes include repetitive motion of one body part leading to pressure on a nerve. Some symptoms can worsen with certain motions, such as turning your head or straining your neck.

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This Post Has 124 Comments

  • Di 6 Nov 2015Reply

    Thank you so much for responding Erich! It is wonderful to hear that you are doing so well and were able to get back to work quickly.

    Im actually thinking of traveling cross-country to New York to have a consult with your doctor, Dr. Riew, as I saw that he left St. Louis for New York City. He sounds like an amazing surgeon. The fact that he does a lot of revision surgeries obviously leads to the conclusion that not everyone out there is as good.

    Thanks again for responding.

  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgical Options For Pinched Nerves

    Pinched Nerve Complications after Rotator Cuff Surgery!
    • MIS Laminectomy Some or all of the lamina, or posterior part of the vertebra and spinal ligament are removed to free the nerves. Sometimes a spinal fusion is incorporated with a laminectomy due to spinal instability.
    • Foraminotomy The foramen or openings on the sides of the vertebra, through which spinal nerves exit the spinal column, is removed to reduce pressure on the nerve. Sometimes a spinal fusion is incorporated due to spinal instability after decompressing of the foramen.
    • MIS Microdiscectomy Is a surgery to remove herniated disc material that is compressing a nerve root or the spinal cord. This surgery is usually done as a microdiscectomy using a microscope or surgical loupes. Before the discectomy is done the surgeon removes a small piece of bone called the lamina from the targeted intervertebral body in order to access the herniated disc. This bone resection is referred to as a laminectomy or laminotomy. A microdiscectomy can be done as an open or with a tubular retractor.

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    When Will My Pinched Nerve Stop Hurting

    A pinched nerve is a common condition that may arise when excessive pressure is placed on a nerve by its bones, muscles, or other surrounding tissues. The pressure interferes with the way the nerve functions and leads to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and tingling. Symptoms may affect your back, hips, legs, ankles, or feet.

    There are a variety of reasons you may experience a pinched nerve. An injury, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, spinal stenosis, repetitive work or hobbies, pregnancy, or obesity may all increase your risk for this condition.

    To diagnose a pinched nerve, a doctor will test your reflexes as well as your ability to move your muscles. They may also order an imaging test such as an MRI, CT-scan, or x-ray to look at the structures in your back or neck or an electromyography to check the function of your nerves.

    What Conditions May Require Neck Surgery

    Not all causes of neck pain require surgery. However, there are some conditions where surgery may ultimately be the best option, especially if less invasive treatments werent effective.

    Conditions that may require surgery are often the result of an injury or age-related degenerative changes, like osteoarthritis.

    Injuries and degenerative changes can cause herniated disks and bone spurs to form in your neck. This can place pressure on your nerves or spinal cord, leading to symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness.

    Some of the most common neck conditions that may require surgery include the following:

    • A pinched nerve : With this condition, excess pressure is placed on one of the nerve roots in your neck.
    • Spinal cord compression : With this condition, the spinal cord becomes compressed or irritated. Some common causes include osteoarthritis, scoliosis, or an injury to the neck.
    • Broken neck : This happens when one or more of the bones in your neck is broken.

    There are several different types of neck surgery. The type of surgery you may need depends on several factors, including whats causing your condition, your doctors recommendation, and your personal preference.

    Here are some of the most common types of neck surgeries.

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    Do You Know What Causes Your Sciatica

    Sciatica may have a variety of causes, each of them requiring a slightly different treatment. Whether or not surgery would get rid of your sciatica will depend on why the sciatic nerve is inflamed in the first place. Possible reasons may include:

  • A herniated disc in your lower back
  • Spinal stenosis narrowing of the space inside the spinal canal
  • Spondylolisthesis slipped and misaligned vertebrae
  • Degeneration of the spine due to wear and tear, which may result in bone spurs
  • A cyst or a tumor in the spine
  • Although most of these causes can be addressed with surgery, it is rarely the first line of treatment. The type of surgery would depend on the problem.

    In addition, sciatica-like pain may result from irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the buttock. This condition is called piriformis syndrome and rarely requires surgery.

    Treatments For A Pinched Nerve

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    There are many treatment options available for pinched nerves, ranging from conservative therapies to minimally invasive surgery. Some treatments focus more on relieving pressure in the spine, whereas others conentrate on alleviating pain. Since there are many different treatment options, it is important to consult with a doctor. A doctor will be able to tell you which treatment option best suits your needs. Furthermore, the wrong treatment could potentially worsen symptoms or prove ineffective at best.

    Conservative methods are generally tried before surgery. This may include:

    • Anti-inflammatory OTC drugs or pain medication
    • Low-impact exercises

    If you believe you have a pinched nerve, then contact our patient advocates today. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeons are internationally recognized for delivering the highest standard of care. At The Advanced Spine Center, you can feel comfortable knowing that you will get the best treatment to suit your needs.

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    My Incredible Neck Surgery To Fix My Pinched Nerves

    I am so very lucky when it comes to health care options. Its distressing to think of the millions of people live with deep or searing chronic pain who did not have this kind of treatment available. I was lucky to have good health insurance and highly competent doctors. No one, however, should have to deal with this sort of pain without treatment and hope.

    For the past two years, Ive been struggling with a pinched nerve in my neck that caused serious pain in my left arm and left side of my back. On several occasions, I referenced some of the treatment I have been receiving, including this post on acupuncture, this post on the incredible fact that there is a skeleton inside my body, and this confession that I dont do well when it comes to getting injections .

    Ive had all kinds of conservative treatment, including intensive physical therapy. None of my conservative treatments worked.

    The most recent symptom was numbness several in my fingers . Its worth taking the time to tell you what my doctor told me about numbness. If you have it, permanent nerve damage is being done. If you dont jump on it and address it quickly , you might lose that sensation permanently. Numbness is different than pain, then, which doesnt usually cause permanent injury.

    Even though Im squeamish about needles, I got over the fact that I was stuck with an IV for my entire stay. Not that I stared at this line much.

    How Is A Pinched Nerve Diagnosed And Treated

    To treat your pinched nerve, Dr. Lloydine Jacobs conducts a full physical examination to identify the cause of your pain. Based on your diagnosis, she creates a personalized approach to relieve your symptoms and reduce your inflammation.

    Depending on the severity, Dr. Lloydine Jacobs may recommend ultra-minimally invasive surgery. If untreated the pressure can continue, and chronic pain or permanent nerve damage can occur. Dr. Lloydine Jacobs approaches these conditions with preventative treatment to avoid major injury or surgery.

    In addition to medical treatments for a pinched nerve, Dr. Lloydine Jacobs might also recommend lifestyle changes designed to improve your posture and body mechanics, nutritional counseling for weight management, and/or more physical activity to improve your back health.

    Find the right treatment for you!

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    How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works

    Because the spinal nerves, vertebrae and discs are located deep inside the body, any approach to gain access to the spinal area requires moving the muscle tissue out of the way. In general, this is facilitated by utilizing a small incision and guiding instruments and/or microscopic video cameras through these incisions. Contrary to popular belief, lasers are very rarely used in MIS surgeries.

    A number of methods can be used to minimize trauma during MIS surgery. Some of the more common techniques are outlined here.

    Who Is A Candidate For The Procedure

    Neck Pain or Pinched Nerve? Avoid Surgery & Pain With 2 Self Treatments

    Your physician may recommend a surgical intervention after a series of conservative treatments have not provided relief from pain and given you the ability to return to your regular activities. Your physician will order diagnostic tests such as an MRI or CT scan to determine which nerves are compressed.

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    What Happens During Lumbar Decompression Surgery

    If lumbar decompression surgery is recommended, you’ll usually have at least one of the following procedures:

    • laminectomy where a section of bone is removed from one of your vertebrae to relieve pressure on the affected nerve
    • discectomy where a section of a damaged disc is removed to relieve pressure on a nerve
    • spinal fusion where two or more vertebrae are joined together with a section of bone to stabilise and strengthen the spine

    In many cases, a combination of these techniques may be used.

    Lumbar decompression is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be unconscious during the procedure and won’t feel any pain as it’s carried out. The whole operation usually takes at least an hour, but may take much longer, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

    Anterior Cervical Discectomy And Fusion

    An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is one common surgery for pinched nerves in the neck.3 During the surgery, the doctor removes whatever was causing the pressure on your nerves or spinal cord. This could be part of a herniated disc or a bone spur. They enter through the front of your neck, rather than the back, to help preserve the delicate muscles and tendons. This helps you heal faster. They then fuse the vertebrae together. This may reduce neck mobility but can dramatically help stabilize the neck to keep the pressure away.

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    Slipped Disc And Sciatica

    A slipped or herniated disc is where the tough coating of a disc in your spine tears, causing the jelly-like filling in the centre to spill out. The torn disc can press on a surrounding nerve or nerves, causing pain in parts of your legs.

    This pain may be accompanied by tingling, pins and needles, numbness or weakness in certain areas of your legs. The pain is often referred to as sciatica and is sometimes worse when straining, coughing or sneezing.

    The most common characteristic of sciatica is pain that radiates out from the lower back, down the buttocks and into one or both legs, right down to the calf. The pain can range from mild to severe.

    A slipped disc can occur at any age, but is more common in people from the ages of 20 to 40. If a disc becomes damaged, it sometimes only takes an awkward twist or turn, a minor injury or even a sneeze to cause the filling in the centre of the disc to spill out.

    However, the exact cause of a slipped disc is often unknown.

    The First Week After Surgery

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    During the first week after minimally invasive spine surgery for a pinched nerve, you will slowly be able to increase your activity level. Care should be taken not to sit slouched or to bend and lift heavy items. You should slowly increase your walking tolerance and watch your back incision for any signs of infection, such as redness or discharge. If there is any concern about the wound, your should contact your doctor.

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    How Long Does It Typically Take To Recover From Surgery For A Pinched Nerve

    How long does it take to recover from surgery for a pinched nerve? This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual case. Some people recover quickly, while others may take months to recover fully. In general, however, most people can expect to start feeling better within a few weeks after surgery.

    The surgery itself is not particularly complicated or risky. The main purpose of the surgery is to relieve pressure on the nerve by decompressing the surrounding tissue. This can be done through a small incision in the skin or by endoscopic means, meaning that the surgeon inserts a small camera and other instruments through a very small incision.

    Most people report good results from surgery. Relief from pain is usually immediate, although complete relief may take a few weeks. Numbness and tingling may take a bit longer to improve. In some cases, sensory loss may be permanent.

    The vast majority of people who undergo surgery for a pinched nerve make a full recovery. However, as with any surgery, there are risks involved. The most common complications are infection and damage to surrounding blood vessels or nerves. These complications are rare, however, and most people who have surgery for a pinched nerve experience a significant improvement in their symptoms.

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