Spine Surgical Procedures


There are many spinal surgical procedures available.

Below are some basic categories.

Cervical (Neck) Decompression and Fusion


When there is compression of the spinal cord or nerves in the neck, fusion is usually necessary.

This is because removal of the compression usually causes instability, which requires a fusion.

Fusion can be performed from the front or the back

The disc is removed and a spacer is inserted in its place. A plate used for added stability.


Lumbar (Back) Decompression


Decompression, also known as laminectomy, involves removal of bone and ligament.

When the nerves of the spine are compressed, removal of this tissue relieves the compression.

Decompression does not involve fusing bones together.

A decompression is a smaller procedure than a fusion.


Lumbar (Back) Microdiscectomy


A microdiscectomy involves removal of a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve.

This is a type of decompression, but is a smaller procedure.

Microdiscectomy reliably relieves pain that shoots down the leg.

This is usually an outpatient surgery.


Lumbar (Back) Fusion


When spinal instability exists, a fusion procedure is necessary.

Fusions are sometimes necessary when nerve compression is severe.

Fusions can be performed through the abdomen, from the side, or from the back.

The disc is removed and a spacer is inserted in its place.

Screws and rods are inserted from the back.

Once the bones fuse, you can return to full activities.




Vertebral compression fractures can be very painful.

A kyphoplasty is a procedure that involves injecting cement into the collapsed bone.

The cement hardens and stabilizes the fracture, leading to pain relief.


Sacroiliac Joint (SI Joint) Fusion


When SI joint pain is not treated by physical therapy and injections, fusion is a final option.

This is a surgery that involves placement of metal implants across the sacroiliac joint.

Fusion eliminates motion at the joint, which in turn relieves pain.



Nicholas Schroeder, MD

Dr. Nicholas Schroeder is a orthopedic surgeon who is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of spine conditions. Call today for an appointment with Dr. Schroeder.