Lahey Hospital & Medical Center's Spine Center team currently performs 800 to 900 spine surgeries per year, making ours one of the busiest programs in the Greater Boston area. We offer expertise in a broad range of procedures:
A herniated or ruptured disc is removed from the cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back) to eliminate pain associated with the damaged disc pressing on sensitive nerve tissue. All discectomies-whether cervical or lumbar-are performed microsurgically through small incisions.
Bone in the back portion of the spine is removed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. It is most commonly performed to alleviate leg pain caused by a herniated disc (a rupture of the tissue that separates vertebrae in the spinal column) or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in the spine).
A procedure in which two or more of the vertebrae (bones) in the spine are joined together to immobilize that portion of the spine.
A novel procedure where an artificial mechanical disc is used to replace the damaged or degenerated disc in order to preserve motion and avoid fusion.
Surgeons make small incisions in the back, chest or abdomen to access the spine, and then specialized video cameras and instruments are inserted to help guide the surgery. Minimally invasive surgeries offer patients a number of benefits including less blood loss during surgery, smaller scars, reduced postoperative pain, and shorter hospital stays and recoveries. At Lahey, we offer the following minimally invasive spine surgeries:
"MILD", or minimally invasive lumbar decompression, is a procedure indicated for ligamentous hypertrophy (thickened ligaments) causing neurogenic claudication (leg muscle fatigue and heaviness) from spinal stenosis. Typically, stenosis causes pain with standing and walking, which improves with sitting. The procedure is performed in the operating room, under IV sedation and involves minimal recovery time. It is an alternative to epidural steroid injections and open, more invasive lumbar spine surgery. This procedure does not preclude open surgery later on, if needed.
At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, a neurophysiologist conducts intraoperative monitoring throughout surgical procedures to measure spinal cord and nerve root function. This state-of-the-art monitoring helps guide the neurosurgeon and prevents neurologic injury from occurring.