Spine Surgery

Whether you’re suffering from back pain or a complex spinal condition, the back and spine specialists at Carondelet Neurological Institute offer spine care and spinal cord surgery options. Types of conditions we treat include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal oncology
  • Cervical myelopathy/radiculopathy
  • Spine trauma
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal deformities such as scoliosis
  • Spinal infections
  • Spinal instability, including spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  • Spinal tumors

Back Surgery - Choosing Your Back and Spine Surgeon

The possibility of spine surgery can be frightening for patients. Therefore, your choice of a spinal surgeon and a good spine surgery hospital is especially important. Look for an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon who is board-certified, fellowship-trained and has received additional training to treat the back and the neck.

At Carondelet Health Network, we have a team of professionals to help you with your condition:

  • Primary care physicians – your primary care physician may prescribe medication to help ease the pain. They may also refer you to a physical therapist. Physical therapists – guide with a combination of improved everyday posture, ergonomics, regular stretching and exercise for good spine care
  • Physiatrists – use conservative treatment for low back pain such as injections. If conservative treatments do not work, they may refer a patient to a spinal surgeon
  • Spine surgeons – in the past, only neurosurgeons were responsible for spinal cord surgery. But spine surgery has evolved so that orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons can specialize in spine surgery, and both are equally qualified in spine surgery.
    • Orthopedic spine surgeons – diagnose and treat conditions such as spinal disorders, arthritis, sports injuries, trauma, bone tumors, hand injuries and deformities
    • Neurosurgeons – diagnose and treat conditions and disorders involving the brain, spine and spinal cord, nerves and intracranial and intraspinal vasculature

Although both orthopedic spine specialists and neurosurgeons are qualified to do back spine surgery, there are conditions where one specialty better applies than the other. For example, neurosurgeons are more qualified in performing intradural surgery and orthopedic surgeons are better suited to treat spinal deformities such as scoliosis.

Rest assured, surgeons in our spine hospital, Carondelet Health Network, use advanced technology and techniques and have an understanding that surgery is a last resort. As part of our community built on care, we also value the importance of bedside manner and how we treat patients and their families.

Treatment options are always carefully considered and thoroughly discussed between the patient and the care team to find the most appropriate, least invasive, patient-centered solution. Surgical techniques such as spinal microsurgery or minimally invasive spine surgery treat spinal disorders of the:

  • Cervical (neck)
  • Thoracic (mid-back)
  • Lumbar (low back)

When Do You Need Spine Surgery?

Surgery may be needed when nonsurgical treatments do not provide pain relief or neurological symptoms are worsening. However, spinal cord surgery may not be for everyone. A patient should be in reasonably good health before surgery. Signs that back surgery may be needed include:

  • Back pain limits daily activities and impairs quality of life
  • Progressive neurologic deficits develop
  • Loss of normal bowel and bladder functions
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Medication and physical therapy are ineffective

If you are a candidate for spine surgery, it may help you feel at ease about having spine surgery if you ask these questions:

  • How do you know if spine surgery will be successful for me?
  • What are my spine surgery options? Am I a candidate for minimally invasive surgery?
  • What are the risks and possible complications if I decide to undergo spine surgery? What can I do to help prevent them?
  • How long is the recovery period?
  • How can I protect my spine after I’ve recovered from surgery?

Coordinated Care

Carondelet Neurological Institute’s trained medical spine specialists offer a comprehensive approach to treating your spine or back problem. On one campus, you receive coordinated, centralized multi-disciplinary assessment and care. A patient navigator will keep you informed throughout the treatment process and help ensure regular communication with all members of your care team.

Spine Surgical Procedures

Carondelet Neurological Institute surgeons specializing in spine conditions may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Microdiscectomy – a minimally invasive spine surgery for removing disc material that has herniated or moved to an abnormal location, causing pressure on the spinal cord, sac of nerves or spinal nerve roots.
  • Spinal fusion surgery – permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the spine, eliminating motion between them.
  • Spinal decompression (laminectomy) – creates space by removing the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal canal, and enlarges the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, sac of nerves, or nerve roots.
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty – a minimally invasive spine surgery to stabilize a spinal compression fracture.
  • Spine fracture and spinal cord injury surgery – non-invasive, minimally invasive or invasive procedures to decompress and stabilize spinal fractures and treat spinal cord injury.
  • Deformity spinal surgery – surgery involving both spinal fusion surgery and instrumentation to improve the alignment of the spine for those with scoliosis or kyphosis.
  • Spine cancer surgery – surgery for decompressing the spinal cord and nerves and stabilizing the spine.
  • Anterior Cervical Surgery – surgery for decompressing the cervical spinal cord or nerves through the front of the neck.
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – surgery performed with specialized instruments and techniques, such as:
    • Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy
    • Minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion surgery
  • Other types of spine surgery offered in Tucson, AZ include:
    • Artificial disc surgery
    • Cervical disc herniation and arthroplasty
    • Discectomy
    • Foraminotomy
    • Laminotomy
    • Nucleoplasty, also called plasma disk decompression

Spine Surgery in Tucson, AZ

Carondelet Neurological Institute has operating suites designed for brain and spine surgery in Tucson, AZ. Innovative technology includes the BrainSuite iCT, among the most efficient, technologically advanced systems for imaging guidance during neurosurgery.

Along with minimally invasive spine surgery options in Tucson, AZ, Carondelet Neurological Institute also offers a Chronic Pain Management Program that includes stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a way of delivering highly targeted, high-energy radiation to spine tumors without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. Pain management and other treatment plans for both acute and chronic pain may supplement spine surgery or, in certain conditions, be the primary treatment of choice.

Find a Spine Specialist

Request one of our specialists to get a second opinion, or a really good first one.

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