The Three Most Common Types of Spinal Surgery

The Three Most Common Types of Spinal Surgery

Most of the time, chronic back pain can be best addressed with nonsurgical interventions, but sometimes surgery is the best option. Having any type of surgery can be anxiety-inducing, but knowing that you’re in the hands of an extremely knowledgeable and highly trained surgeon makes all the difference. The physicians at Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates do all they can to improve your condition when spinal surgery becomes necessary. 

Acute back pain is pain that lasts for a few days or a few weeks. It can be intense, but it usually goes away with a little time. If your pain lasts more than 12 weeks, it’s considered chronic pain, and you may need additional treatment. Most often, that treatment involves nonsurgical approaches such as physical therapy. 

But sometimes, those approaches simply don’t work. Pain that continues to worsen or that interferes with the function of your bladder or your bowels may require surgery. Here are three types of spinal surgery that are performed relatively often. 


One of the most common causes of back pain originates with the soft rounds of tissue that cushion your vertebrae. These are called discs, and they sit between the bones of your spine functioning as shock absorbers. Over time, the tissue can begin to wear out, allowing the discs to bulge or even rupture. 

When a disc bulges, it can pinch nerves and cause considerable pain. Removing the bulging bit of the disc is called a discectomy. Most of the time, this is performed through a minimally invasive surgery, and you can go home the same day.

Spinal fusion

When your vertebrae aren’t working properly, your spine may become unstable, or you may have significant pain. One way to correct the problem is to “fuse” two or more vertebrae together. In spinal fusion, your surgeon uses metal rods, screws, rods, or cages to hold your vertebrae together so they can heal into a solid piece.

Numerous conditions can be treated with spinal fusion. For example, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, and spinal fractures can all be treated using spinal fusion. Your doctor carefully assesses your condition before recommending spinal fusion surgery. 


Sometimes structures in your spine other than discs can press against your nerves and cause pain, weakness, numbness, and other problems. For example bone spurs, or small bony growths, can press on nerves and create pressure. Ligaments or even vertebrae themselves can do the same. 

In some instances, the best way to correct the issue and relieve the pressure on your nerves is a type of surgery called a laminectomy. Your surgeon may remove bone spurs ligaments or part of your vertebrae. Often, spinal fusion is necessary following laminectomy, so you may need to have both procedures at the same time. 

Individual assessment

When you’re facing spinal surgery, you need to know that your doctor is an expert and has evaluated all courses of action before recommending surgery for you. When you come to Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates, you can be certain that you’re getting advice from a highly trained specialist. We are always happy to answer your questions, and we always make specific recommendations based on your unique circumstances. 

If you think you may need spinal surgery, call to schedule an appointment at our office today.

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