When we mentioned about spine surgery, it involves all the vertebrae regions from the skull base-cervical vertebra intersection to the coccyx, including sacrum. Many diseases of the spine are mostly encountered in the lumbar region; however, they can also be seen in the cervical vertebrae, dorsal vertebrae, and sacrum. Diseases that involve the spine can be congenital but can also be encountered as we get older.
Congenital spinal diseases include congenital scoliosis, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis, spina bifida that can be encountered in association with developmental disorders of the spine, and the formation and segmentation anomalies of the spine. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis commonly appears in the physical development period, i.e. puberty.
Some of these diseases progress and cause the need for surgical treatment. As we get older, the disc texture between the vertebrae begins to age and lose their fluid content to a certain extent. The degeneration (decay and aging) of the vertebrae begins with the degeneration of the disc tissue between the vertebrae. After the breakdown of the disc structure, degenerations occur in the joints between the vertebrae, and loosening occurs in the joint capsules. If this process progresses, we may encounter spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord canal), spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slides over the vertebra below it), and degenerative scoliosis.
The above-mentioned degenerative diseases of the spine usually appear proceedingly after the middle ages (after 50-55 years of age), and they are highly painful processes. Besides these, the problems also include fractures and slides of the spine encountered in consequence of falling down and traffic accidents, spinal tumors, inflammatory spinal diseases (such as bacterial discitis and spinal tuberculosis), and certain problems developing after previous spine surgeries (Flat waist syndrome, pseudoarthrosis, adjacent segment disease, failed back surgery syndrome).
Procedures carried out in spine surgery include microsurgery, endoscopic disc surgery, minimally invasive surgical procedures, non-fusion instrumentation techniques (dynamic stabilization), total disc implants, and fusion instrumentation surgeries. These techniques used in spine surgery may vary depending on the patient’s clinic condition and pathology, as well as the surgeon’s experience and preference.