You might have surgery if your back problem is caused by a tumor or infection.
Removal of spinal tumors
Spinal tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or not (benign). During surgery, the doctor removes the tumor and any bone that it has damaged.
If surgery or disease has weakened part of the spine, the doctor can make it more stable using metal implants, bone
grafts, or bone cement.
Certain types of tumors grow on the spinal cord or
nerve roots. In some cases, surgery to remove the tumor could cause more harm to the spinal cord than not removing the tumor. Talk to your doctor to make sure you understand the risks involved. Get advice from a surgeon who is an
expert in treating spinal cord tumors.
Debridement of the spine
This surgery removes bone and other infected or abnormal tissue. It's usually done
to treat an infection or an injury.
The doctor removes infected and damaged or dead bone.
The area is then cleaned with a sterile solution that contains
antibiotics. If the doctor removes a lot of bone or entire vertebrae, he or she may use
spinal fusion (arthrodesis) to make the spine stable.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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