Traditional back pain surgeries unfortunately have numerous downsides that can result in lasting issues. Issues such as a lack of mobility or the potential of further deterioration in the spine are causing people to look at alternative measures.
In this article, we will discuss what is the future of back surgery. Focusing on new and innovative technology and procedures that can improve traditional spinal surgery.
What are the Most Common Back Surgeries?
Let’s take a look at the spinal surgeries that you have likely heard of before and the most common options in terms of relieving back pain symptoms.
There are two types of spinal decompression treatments, surgical and non-surgical.
Non-surgical Spinal Decompression works using a range of treatments to help stretch the spine, resulting in the easing of pressure on your discs. The discs in your spine are soft, cushioned tissue that acts as shock absorbers between each vertebra. This can help cure a herniated disc and promote better long-term mobility, improving the circulation of water, oxygen, and nutrients to your back.
This procedure is achieved by fitting the patient with a harness that connects around the pelvis and lower part of the body. The patient will then lie face down on a bed that is operated by a computerized control system that will maneuver the patient based on their needs.
This can last for around 30-to-45 minutes and there could be 20-to-28 sessions needed over 5-7 weeks. Electrical stimulation may also be administered in addition to non-surgical spinal decompression.
Surgical Spinal Decompression is recommended if treatments and non-surgical procedures have failed to improve a patient’s condition. It is often considered a last resort and there are 5 main types of spinal decompression surgery.
- Discectomy – This type of surgery removes the disc to relieve pressure on the nerves.
- Laminectomy – This option removes the lamina, the small arched bone which is part of the vertebrae. This enlarges the space in the spinal canal and relieves pressure.
- Foraminectomy – In this operation, the surgeon removes bone and tissues to create more space for nerve roots.
- Osteophyte Removal – This surgery removes bony growths/ spurs which can come into contact with other parts of the spine.
- Corpectomy – This procedure removes the vertebral body, as well as the discs between the affected vertebrae.
Before decompression surgery is advised, your doctor will most likely recommend a patient try the following treatments.
- Physical Therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Steroid Injections
Simply, Spinal Fusion Surgery connects two vertebrae (bones in the spine) together so there is no longer any motion between them. The connection is made using a bone graft or a bone-like material, as well as the possibility of a metal plate, bones, and rods for extra stability.
This surgery is recommended if a patient is suffering from weakness or instability in the spine, has herniated discs, or has a deformity of the spine.
What are the Disadvantages of Spinal Fusion Surgery?
Unfortunately, spinal fusion does have some drawbacks in terms of permanently limiting mobility in the back, making certain actions like bending down harder to perform. Over time the fused section of the spine can also result in deterioration in the adjacent vertebrae, resulting in issues later in life.
This is why medical scientists and doctors are considering new technologies and techniques to provide surgical options that relieve symptoms but do not cause long-term problems.
What is the Future of Back Surgery?
Many top surgeons are now promoting the success of artificial disc replacements and devices that mimic the natural movement of the spine. Devices such as a TOPS System. Spinal fusion is a dated procedure that has been performed to cure conditions such as herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. However, using modern, artificial implants a person can maintain full mobility in the back to perform simple movements such as twisting and bending without any hindrance.
For example, hips and knees have been replaced with artificial joints for many years and artificial disc replacements can last for even longer. Experts believe that artificial disc replacements will overtake spinal fusion surgery in the next ten years, ensuring patients are pain-free and have full mobility.
The TOPS System
The TOPS System is a mechanical implant device that is used to replace bones and tissue that are removed during spinal decompression surgery. This type of surgery is often recommended for issues such as spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.
This system is designed for single use between the L2 and L5 regions of the spine which are the most common areas that are affected by conditions such as stenosis. For extra stability, the TOPS System can also be combined with a Versalink Fusion System which is an alternative to spinal fusion surgery between the L1 and S1 regions of the spine.
What are the Benefits of the TOPS System
The TOPS System enables mobility in all directions, including lateral bending, extension, flexion, and axial rotation. In addition to maintaining mobility, the system also reduces the amount of force and pressure that is applied to the lower spine when moving, this is especially important for patients that have previously suffered from slipped discs.
These benefits are not offered by traditional spinal decompression surgery. The TOPS System is clinically proven to provide immediate and long-term pain relief, dramatically improving a person’s quality of life.
Numerous studies have been conducted among patients that have been fitted with such a device, confirming long-term pain relief and benefits which are a stark improvement on traditional methods.
There are three major benefits of the TOPS System as a treatment for spondylolisthesis, stenosis, and other spinal conditions.
- Stability – The TOPS System stabilizes the lumbar spine and reestablishes the natural range of movement in a controlled way.
- Mobility – The patient retains full mobility in their spine, allowing them to walk and bend freely, with no restrictions on their flexibility.
- Pain Relief – Arguably the most important benefit of a TOPS System is the immediate and sustained pain relief it offers.
Thank you for reading. We hope this article has provided some insight into the future of back surgery and how devices such as a TOPS System can offer greater benefits than traditional methods.