Who Needs Spine Surgery?

Surgery is sometimes your best treatment option for overcoming the challenges of various painful conditions that threaten the functionality of your spine. But how do you know when it’s time for an operation?

Dr. Patrick Doherty of Yale Neurosurgery New London in New London, Connecticut, is a highly respected neurosurgeon and spine specialist who shares insight regarding the conditions that might respond well to spine surgery. He also explains how today’s highly advanced, minimally invasive surgeries compare to traditional or “open” surgical procedures.

Why would I need spine surgery?

Conservative treatment is often the most effective, and thus preferred, option for addressing painful conditions linked to your spine.

These therapies may include:

In most cases, these measures provide relief for back and/or neck discomfort related to the many nerves, muscles, joints, and ligaments in your spine.

Sometimes, however, conservative therapies do not adequately relieve the pain, decreased mobility, or other physical impairments caused by certain spinal conditions. In that case, Dr. Doherty may recommend surgery.

What conditions do you treat with spine surgery?

Dr. Doherty may recommend spine surgery to address:

It’s important to note that successful spinal surgery often hinges on accurately diagnosing the source of your pain. Also, conditions such as herniated discs or mild scoliosis do not always lead to discomfort.

Thus, despite our expertise in spinal surgery, a comprehensive evaluation followed by a course of conservative treatment is our standard of care here at Yale Neurosurgery. If you do undergo surgery, however, our team has the skill required for the most effective outcome.

What is minimally invasive spine surgery?

Traditional (open) spine surgery requires a long incision that travels through several layers of skin and muscle to provide access to the targeted treatment site.

Minimally invasive procedures rely on smaller incisions that decrease trauma to surrounding tissue. This decreases the risk of infection and bleeding while reducing postoperative pain and speeding recovery time.

Dr. Doherty also specializes in robotic surgery. This advanced surgical technique provides the benefits of minimally invasive surgery as well as greater precision and improved control that reduces the risk of nerve irritation and other complications associated with spine surgery.

For outstanding care that may include spine surgery by one of the most respected specialists in the nation, schedule an evaluation at Yale Neurosurgery New London today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect After Your Cervical Spinal Fusion

Are you wondering what happens while you’re healing from cervical spine fusion? How long does it take to heal? Can you work? Will you need rehab? Our team explains spinal fusion and how the healing process differs from other surgeries.

Vertebral Fracture Treatment: What Are My Options?

Treatment for a broken vertebra depends on why and where it occurs and whether surrounding structures are affected by the fracture. Fortunately, most respond to conservative care that relieves pain and improves mobility as the fracture heals.

Signs That a Herniated Disc Is in Your Future

Most people don’t think about their intervertebral discs until something goes wrong and the pain starts. Our team discusses factors that increase your risk of disc disease, warning signs to watch for, and steps you can take to protect your discs.

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Neck

Worsening pain, increasing stiffness, and headaches that defy standard treatments can signal inflammatory changes in your neck that may be caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Learn more about RA in the cervical spine and how we can help.

How Effective Is Surgery for Chronic Neck Pain?

Are you considering surgery for neck pain that’s lasted longer than three months? Have you tried physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, or activity modification for pain relief? Learn why surgery may be next and what to expect afterward.

What to Expect After Your Spine Surgery

Wondering what happens after spine surgery? Our specialty team offers insight regarding recovery and rehab and how quickly you can expect a return to routine activities, possibly sooner than you imagined.