Spine Specialist
If you have problems related to the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the back due to injury or other problems, you may need spinal surgery or treatment. The primary goal of this specialized area in orthopedics is restoring the alignment, stability, and function of the spine for everyday activity. At Greater Austin Orthopaedics, with offices in South Austin, Oak Hill, North Austin, and Lockhart, Texas, the expertly trained orthopedic back surgeons can provide you with the highest quality of care through both surgical and nonsurgical means. Call us or schedule an appointment online to get started.

Spine Q & A

What kinds of procedures are considered spine surgery?  

The physicians at Greater Austin Orthopaedics expertly deliver a wide variety of surgical procedures to treat and repair the spine, including:

  • Anterior (front) and posterior (back) operations
  • Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar decompression
  • Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar fusions
  • Surgeries for compression fractures (vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty)
  • Minimally invasive procedures including discectomy, decompression, and fusion

What conditions do the different procedures treat?

The surgical procedures for the spine treat a variety of injuries and conditions. Your doctor at Greater Austin Orthopaedics will work with you to accurately diagnose the issue and determine the best treatment plan for you.

Some of the most common conditions treated with spine surgery are:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Spinal cord compression and compression fractures
  • Pinched nerves
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is the rupture of a vertebral disc and can be caused by the normal wear and tear of aging or by traumatic injury. A herniated disc can push painfully against a nerve root, sending pain down the sciatic nerve and resulting in a burning, tingling, or numbing sensation from the lower back down to one or both feet.

Healthy vertebral discs are the spinal column's shock absorbers. The discs cushion the vertebral bones, allowing them to twist and bend.

Vertebral discs are composed of two main parts, a soft inner nucleus, and a tough, fibrous outer wall. Herniated discs often compress the nerve root, subsequently causing pain.

A herniated disc occurs when small tears form in the wall of a disc. Damaged pieces of the nucleus (which can harden and break apart with age) push through the tears and out of the disc wall.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis results from new bone and soft tissue growth on the vertebrae, which reduces the space in the spinal canal. When the nerve roots are pinched, a painful burning, tingling and/or numbing sensation is felt from the lower back down to the legs and sometimes all the way to the feet.

In a healthy spine, the spinal canal has a rounded triangular shape that holds the spinal cord without pinching. Nerve roots leave the spinal canal through openings called nerve root canals, which are also free of obstruction.

How do I know if I need surgery?

At Greater Austin Orthopaedics, your orthopedic specialist evaluates your medical history, X-rays, and other imaging; then they assess your range of motion and levels of pain. Often, the physicians treat spine conditions with a more conservative approach, such as physical therapy or medication, and use surgical procedures only when necessary.

If you’ve had an injury or have been experiencing pain, weakness, numbness, stiffness, or swelling in your back, don't wait — call today, or schedule an appointment online with an orthopedic back specialist.

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