Neurosurgery for the Spine – Cervical, Thoracic & Lumbar
Neurosurgery provides surgical and nonsurgical management for disorders of the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system. Our neurosurgeons use progressive technologies, minimally invasive spine surgery and endoscopic laser surgical procedures to perform complex reconstructions, cervical, thoracic and lumbar disc instrumentation and artificial disc placement.
Herniated discs can occur anywhere on the spine. Patients experience severe pain and lost function in their arms or legs because the spongy disc bulges and interferes with spinal cord nerves. When conservative treatment fails, we may offer advanced cervical disc replacement with an artificial disc. We use disc replacement to treat severely damaged discs or discs that press against nerves. The artificial disc replacement facilitates movement.
DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE:
When one or more vertebral discs weakens, it fails to act as a cushion between the vertebrae. This condition can develop during aging or as a result of a traumatic injury to the back. We offer a number of effective conservative treatments for degenerative disc disease. When conservative treatment fails to provide the necessary relief, we may offer artificial disc replacement.
CERVICAL ARTIFICIAL DISC:
Leading-edge artificial disc replacement is a procedure that involves replacing a painful disc that is causing pain and nerve impingement with an artificial disc that provides pain relief without compromising the spine's natural anatomical structure. Your neurosurgeon will consider surgery when nonsurgical treatment such as physical therapy and injections fail to relieve your pain.
The artificial discs are structurally similar to the damaged discs that are replaced and share similar functions, including acting as shock absorbers in the neck. It may also help retain neck movement: bending forward-to-back and bending side-to-side.
The cervical disc takes the place of one or two damaged cervical discs next to each other (contiguous or adjacent) from levels C3 to C7.
It is for patients with arm pain and/or neurological symptoms such as: weakness or numbness with or without cervicalgia (neck pain). The damaged disc may be irritating the spinal cord (myelopathy) or nerve roots (radiculopathy). This can cause a loss of feeling, loss of movement, back pain, weakness or tingling down the arm and possibly into the hands.
Disc damage needs to be proven by your doctor’s review of your CT, MRI or X-ray images. Images of the neck should show at least one of the following:
- Inner disc squeezing through the outer disc (herniated nucleus pulposus).
- Degeneration of the spine from wear & tear (spondylosis). There may be boney growth (osteophytes) on a vertebra.
- Loss of disc height compared to the levels above & below.
Patient has not responded to nonsurgical care and should either have:
- Tried at least six weeks of other medical treatments such as physical therapy & medication before having surgery; or
- Have signs or symptoms that their condition is getting worse even with other medical treatments.
SPINAL STENOSIS AND SPONDYLOSIS:
Narrowing of spinal spaces and nerve compression characterize the degenerative condition called spinal stenosis. This can result in back pain and discomfort that may worsen over time. Spondylosis is another condition that causes degeneration of intervertebral discs that cushion the spine and give it flexibility. Spondylosis can lead to lost mobility and severe back pain as spinal vertebrae rub against each other.
When the vertebral bone structure collapses, it can affect one or more spinal vertebrae and cause severe deformity of the spine. Compression fractures may affect any segment of the spine, but they most commonly occur in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar regions of the mid-back.
SACROILIAC JOINT DYSFUNCTION:
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, also called sacroiliac joint disorder, sacroiliac joint disease, sacroiliac joint syndrome or sacroiliac syndrome, generally refers to pain in the sacroiliac joint region that is caused by abnormal motion in the sacroiliac joint, either too much motion or too little motion. It typically results in inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, and it can be debilitating.
Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction requires appropriate interpretation of a patient’s history, clinical exam results and imaging studies and is the differential diagnosis for back pain. During physical examination, patients with SI joint disorders exhibit any/all of the following symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Pelvis/buttock pain
- Hip/groin pain
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Disturbed sitting patterns (unable to sit for long periods, on one side)
- Pain going from sitting to standing
If you have been diagnosed with a sacroiliac joint problem or think you might have a sacroiliac joint problem and have failed appropriate nonsurgical treatment such analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, orthotics, chiropractic or physical therapy, your surgeon may determine that you are a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure called SI joint fusion. Spine surgery is often considered a last resort, but for some patients, it is the only method of effectively stabilizing the loose joint.
The minimally invasive implant systems are a safe alternative to open spine surgery. it is surgically straightforward and results in a quicker recovery time for the patient.
The neurosurgeons at Neurologic Associates of Wisconsin are board-certified spine surgery specialists who can answer your questions and explain treatment options for spinal problems.
To make an appointment or for more information about our advanced treatment solutions for cervicalgia and lowe back pain, give us a call: Waukesha Clinic 262.542.9503 Brookfiel Clinic & Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Clinit 414.298.7142.
For your convenience, you can reserve your consultation using our online Request an Appointment form. Our spine patients come to us from Brookfield, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee and Waukesha.