All About Motion Preservation Spine Surgery

All About Motion Preservation Spine Surgery

Motion preservation spine surgery is a cutting-edge technique that allows you to keep your natural spine flexibility that might otherwise be lost if your vertebrae are fused together. Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center's spine surgery specialist, Dr. Jocelyn Idema, is an expert in motion preservation techniques. Dr. Idema replaces diseased or damaged discs using minimally invasive methods, which allow you to keep some range of motion after surgery.

Not everyone with a spine problem requires surgical intervention. However, surgery is the only option for alleviating pain, improving stability, or repairing damaged vertebrae for some people. There are many reasons to consider motion preservation spine surgery at one of Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center’s three locations in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, and Washington, Pennsylvania.

What is motion preservation spine surgery?

Motion preservation is a minimally invasive technique that reduces recovery time while preserving spine movement. This surgical method lets you keep as much of your natural movement as possible after spine surgery.

The traditional way to treat many spine problems is by fusing vertebrae together. Screws, rods, and metal plates keep your bones in place, making the separate vertebrae in your spine look like one piece. 

This type of surgery can be very good at stabilizing the spine and relieving pain, but it doesn't allow the fused vertebrae to move. Motion preservation enables you to remain more mobile and flexible after surgery.

How is motion preservation spine surgery performed?

Artificial discs are made of plastic, metal, or a combination of both. Dr. Idema offers total disc replacement or disc nucleus replacement.

During a total disc replacement, Dr. Idema replaces the inner core (nucleus) and the disc's outer shell (annulus). The disc uses a mechanical device to simulate the spine's natural movement and restore normal spinal function.

When Dr. Idema replaces the disc nucleus, you retain the annulus. This technique is a less common approach.

Dr. Idema performs motion preservation surgery by removing the injured disc in little pieces, which relieves the pressure on the nerves that are being affected. Once she removes the defective disc, Dr. Idema makes a series of small incisions in the vertebrae to accommodate the new artificial disc. These incisions hold the replacement disc in place.

Motion preservation vs. spine fusion surgery

Traditional spinal fusion surgery in which two vertebrae are permanently fused is generally safe, effective, and beneficial. But it can cause complications. When your vertebrae are fused, they can no longer move, putting more strain on the vertebrae above and below the fusion. This can increase stress on the adjacent intervertebral discs and vertebral joints, which can cause premature wear and tear.

Alternatively, motion preservation surgery is an innovative surgical technique that treats many of the same problems as conventional spine surgery. 

Benefits of motion preservation spine surgery

Some of the many advantages of motion preservation surgery include:

Dr. Idema’s goal is to improve the function and movement of your spine while maintaining the highest standards of care. She is an expert in the expanding field of minimally invasive spine surgery, performing the most advanced treatments for a wide range of back and neck problems.

If your spine condition is causing pain and lowering your quality of life, call the practice in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, or Washington, Pennsylvania, now to schedule a consultation. Our specialists will guide you in making an informed decision about the best procedure for you.

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