Today, many options are available for patients with spine disorders.
At CoxHealth, our team of neurosurgeons are able to care for even the most complex cases.
From degenerative spinal disorders and spinal tumors to scoliosis, spinal infections, compression fractures and cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine disorders, we offer the experience and treatments you need to live your best quality of life. Many treatment options are available, from spinal injections to traditional surgery and other innovative techniques.
Spine-Related Conditions & Surgical Treatments
Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck. An incision is made in the throat area to reach and remove the disc. A graft is inserted to fuse together the bones above and below the disc. ACDF may be an option if physical therapy or medications fail to relieve your neck or arm pain caused by pinched nerves. Patients typically go home the same day.
Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF) is a minimally invasive spinal fusion to treat disc problems in the low back. Fusion stabilizes the spine to stop the painful motion and decompresses pinched nerves. Through a small incision at the tailbone, the damaged disc is removed and a rod placed to correct the spacing between the vertebrae. During healing, the bones will fuse together. The back muscles are avoided, so recovery is faster.
Back and neck pain happens when the spine is stressed by injury, disease, wear and tear or poor body mechanics.
Acute low back pain is abrupt, intense pain that subsides after a period of days or weeks. It typically resolves with rest, physical therapy, and other self-care measures. You play an important role in the prevention, treatment, and recovery of back pain. Surgery is rarely needed. but it might be recommended if you have muscle weakness, a proven disc herniation or severe stenosis. Reasonable courses of nonsurgical treatment would likely be recommended first.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a rare condition. It's usually caused by a large disc herniation in the lower back that compresses the nerve roots at the end of the spinal cord. Symptoms include sudden back pain with numbness in the genital area, difficulty urinating and weakness in the legs. This is a medical emergency. Prompt surgery to relieve the pressure may prevent permanent damage and restore bladder and bowel function.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease affects the discs that separate the spine bones. As you age, the spine begins to show signs of wear and tear as the discs dry out and shrink. These age-related changes can lead to arthritis, disc herniation or stenosis. Pressure on the spinal nerves may cause pain. Physical therapy, self-care, medication and spinal injections are used to manage symptoms. Surgery may be an option if the pain is chronic.
Facet Joint Syndrome
Facet joint syndrome is an arthritis-like condition of the spine. It can be a significant source of back and neck pain. It's caused by degenerative changes to the joints between the spine bones. The cartilage inside the facet joint can break down and become inflamed. This triggers pain signals in nearby nerve endings. There are surgical and nonsurgical options to manage symptoms. These can include medication, physical therapy, joint injections, nerve blocks and nerve ablations.
A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of a disc ruptures through a weak area in the tough outer wall. Neck or arm pain, numbness or tingling may result when the disc material compresses a spinal nerve. Treatment with medication, spinal injections and physical therapy are the first steps to recovery. Most people improve in six weeks and return to normal activity. If symptoms continue, surgery may be an option.
Lumbar Interbody Fusion (Anterior)
Lumbar interbody fusion is a surgery to treat disc problems in the low back. Fusion locks together two or more bones to stop painful motion and correct their alignment. Through an incision in the front of the belly, the disc is removed. A bone graft is placed in the empty space to restore the height and relieve nerve pinching. During healing, the bones fuse into one solid piece.
Lumbar Interbody Fusion (Lateral)
Lateral interbody fusion is a minimally invasive surgery to treat disc problems in the low back. In spinal fusion, two or more bones of the spine are joined. This helps stop painful motion, decompress pinched nerves and correct scoliosis. Through a small incision at the side of the waist, the disc is removed and a bone graft is inserted. This restores the height and relieves nerve pinching. During healing, the bones will fuse together.
Lumbar discectomy is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the lower spine. The incision is made through the back muscles to reach and remove the disc pressing on the nerve. This surgery may be an option if physical therapy or medication fail to relieve leg or back pain caused by pinched spinal nerves. The surgery can be performed in an open or minimally invasive technique.
Neck pain results when the spine is stressed by injury, disease, wear and tear or poor body mechanics. Acute neck pain is abrupt, intense pain that can radiate to the head, shoulders, arms or hands. It typically subsides with rest, physical therapy and self-care measures. You play an important role in the prevention, treatment and recovery of neck pain. While surgery is rarely necessary, chronic pain that persists may need further evaluation.
Intrathecal drug delivery, or a pain pump, is a method of giving medication directly to your spinal cord. The system uses a small pump that is surgically placed under the skin of your abdomen. It delivers medication through a catheter to the area around your spinal cord. This is similar to an epidural that women may have during childbirth. Direct delivery to your spinal cord means your symptoms can be controlled with a much smaller dose than with oral medication.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Sacroiliac pain is felt in the low back and buttocks. The pain is caused by damage to the joint between the spine and hip. Sacroiliac pain can mimic other conditions, such as a herniated disc or hip problem. Accurate diagnosis is important to determine the source of pain. Physical therapy, stretching exercises, pain medication and joint injections are used first to manage the symptoms. Surgery can be an option to fuse the joint if other treatments are unsuccessful.
Sciatica is a term used to describe leg pain that radiates from your back into your buttock, and down the back of your leg. It is a general term used to describe symptoms rather than an actual physical condition. Typically, the pain is caused by pressure on the nerve roots in your lower back. It often improves with rest, physician therapy and other self-care measures. Surgery can help with chronic pain.
Scoliosis is a condition in which your spine curves and twists from side to side instead of growing straight. Your health care provider will suggest the best treatment for you based on your age, how much more you are likely to grow and the size and type of your spinal curve. Surgery may be necessary if the curve measures 45 degrees or more on an X-ray and bracing has not slowed down the progression of the curve.
Spinal cord stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation delivers low voltage current to block the feeling of pain. A small device implanted in the body transmits an electrical current to the spinal cord. When turned on, the stimulation feels like a mild tingling in the area where pain is felt. It helps patients with chronic pain better manage symptoms and can decrease use of pain medications.
Spinal Decompression (Laminectomy)
Decompression surgery removes the bony roof covering the spinal cord and nerves to create more space for them to move freely. Narrowing of the spinal canal can cause chronic pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the arms or legs. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your symptoms have not improved with physical therapy or medications.
Spinal deformity is an abnormal alignment or curve of your spine, such as scoliosis or kyphosis. It can be caused by age-related wear and tear on the back or complications from past surgeries. Facet joints and discs can deteriorate over time until they are no longer able to support normal posture. Pain results from stressed joints and pinched nerves, not the abnormal curve. Treatment can include medications, physical therapy, injections or surgery.
A fracture of a vertebra can cause bone fragments to pinch and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Most spinal fractures occur from car accidents, falls, a gunshot or sports. Injuries can range from mild ligament and muscle strains to to debilitating spinal cord damage. Many fractures heal with conservative treatment. Some may need surgery to realign the bones.
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and pinches the nerves. This results in back and leg pain. Symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain and trouble walking. You may also experience numbness, tingling, a sensation of hot or cold or weak, tired legs. This can also cause clumsiness or frequent falls. Recommended treatment may include pain medicine, corticosteroid injections, posture changes, physical therapy or weight loss. Surgery may be an option if nonsurgical remedies do not improve symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be an urgent matter due to the development of severe weakness or loss of bowel and bladder function.
Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis
These related conditions affect the moveable joints of the spine that help keep the vertebrae aligned one on top of the other. Spondylolysis is a weakness or stress fracture in one of the facet joints. This weakness can cause the vertebrae to slip forward out of their normal position. That condition is called spondylolisthesis. There are many nonsurgical treatment options. If slippage continues or your pain doesn't respond to conservative therapy, you may need surgery to realign the bones.
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is a surgery used to treat disc problems in the low back. Fusion locks together two or more bones to stop painful motion, relieve pinched nerves and correct scoliosis. Through small, minimally invasive incisions in the back, the disc is removed. A bone graft spacer is placed in the space to restore the height and relieve nerve pinching. During healing, the bones fuse together.
Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which surgical cement is injected into the fractured vertebrae. Kyphoplasty is a procedure used to treat fractures or breaks in the vertebrae. The vertebrae are the bones in your back that are stacked on top of each other to make your spine. Your spine supports your weight, allows you to move and protects your spinal cord and the nerves. These are minimally invasive procedures that help patients recover faster. They also reduce the risk of future fractures.