Spine Blog

Is there a difference between orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons?

Is there a difference between orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons?

I am an orthopedic spine surgeon. Quite often my patients ask what the difference is between my specialty and neurosurgery. Some people assume that all spine surgeons are neurosurgeons. So, is there a difference and if so, what is it?

These days spine surgery is performed by two separate specialties, orthopedic surgery and neurological surgery (neurosurgery). There is a trend for them to merge into one specialty called “spine surgery,” but it has not happened yet.

Is a Pacemaker/Defibrillator a Contraindication to MRI?

Is a Pacemaker/Defibrillator a Contraindication to MRI?

As our population is getting older, more patients rely on cardiac-implanted devices. It is common to see these patients in the spine clinic, where advanced imaging is required for accurate diagnosis. Is it safe to use MRI in these patients?

The current practice is to avoid Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in these patients since the presence of an implanted cardiac device is considered a contraindication, which in result, would harm the patient.

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

Definition

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical procedure done through the abdomen to remove a diseased intervertebral disc and replace it with a spacer, thus restoring the disc height, decompressing the nerves, correcting deformity and fusing the vertebrae together in the corrected position.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

TLIF of Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion is a traditional open-surgical procedure aimed to remove pressure to the spinal nerves and provide stabilization of the spine bones (vertebrae) when there is abnormal motion between them.

TLIF is one of the most common procedures used to decompress and stabilize the spine.

Cervical open door laminoplasty

Cervical laminoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes pressure from the spinal cord in the neck. It is commonly performed to treat cervical myelopathy, a condition where pressure on the spinal cord produces neurologic changes.

As opposed to the more traditional surgeries, laminoplasty does not involve fusion of the neck bones and thus preserves almost normal range of motion.

Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF)

Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF)

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a minimally invasive spine (MIS) fusion procedure used to remove pressure from the pinched nerves, realign and stabilize bones in the lower back. It is known under several different names depending on the manufacturer of the equipment, including LLIF, XLIF, DLIF.

How is the procedure performed?

As discussed in a separate article, MIS surgery achieves the same goals of traditional “open” surgery while resulting in less damage to body.

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