Miami Valley Hospital’s (MVH) team of neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons work in collaboration with our trauma team to provide the best possible treatment modalities for spine fractures and disorders of the spine.
Neck Fracture Treatments
Treatment of spine fractures depends on the degree of fracture and where the fracture is located. If a neck fracture is stable (non-displaced), you may be placed in an Aspen collar. If the fracture is unstable (complex), you may need surgery or to be placed in Halo traction or have surgical stabilization.
In the case of a cervical spine fracture, halo traction is used to align the spine and immobilize it for healing. A ring is placed around your head with four pins to hold it in place. It is then attached to a special jacket with rods to hold your head perfectly still. Numbing medication and, in most cases, pain medication are given for the procedure. The halo is worn for three months to give your bones time to heal. A Neurosurgeon monitors your healing after you are discharged.
You may have a collar placed after an injury or surgery of the spine. There are both soft and rigid collars; some of the hard collars used are the Aspen, Philadelphia, or Miami J.
Spinal fusion is a surgery used for fractures or other problems involving the spine. The surgery may be performed to treat neck or lumber (lower) spine problems. Fusions include using rods and screws and possibly wires to support more than one level of the spine together. Bone or other material is placed between the levels to allow the bone to grow together or fuse. The incision for a neck fusion surgery may be in the front or the back, depending on which approach the surgeon thinks is best.
Treatments for Disorders of the Spine
There are two types of microsurgery that can be done. Microdiscectomy (removal of bone) and microdecompression (removal of disc material which puts pressure on the nerve.) The surgery is performed in the hospital using general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
A laminotomy is the removal of part of the lamina (back part of the vertebrae) to relieve pressure off the spinal nerve. This may be done as part of a discectomy or by itself. A laminotomy alone is performed to treat a condition of bone pressing on nerves.
A laminectomy removes the back part of the vertebrae (lamina.) This is done to reduce the pressure on spinal nerves caused by overgrowth of bone (bone spurs) due to arthritis. This may also be referred to as stenosis.
Discectomy is the removal of a portion of the disc between the vertebrae that is pressing on the nerves (ruptured disc.) Surgeons remove as much of the disc as possible to prevent reoccurrence of the condition.
A vertebroplasty is done when you have bone fractures within your spine. They can be compression fractures (fracture caused by trauma) or pathologic fractures (fracture caused by disease, such as cancer or osteoporosis).
Spinal Cord Stimulator
Spinal cord stimulators are used if you have chronic pain that is not helped by other means. A stimulator device is put under the skin with leads that are placed in the spine to send impulses to the spinal cord that block pain impulses.
Spinal Cord Surgery
Spinal cord surgery can be a high-risk procedure, but sometimes the diagnosis of a tumor or vascular lesion may necessitate the need for this type of surgery. MVH’s neurosurgical team will explain all the risks and benefits to you prior to proceeding with any surgery.