Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a procedure used to treat neck problems such as cervical radiculopathy, disc herniations, fractures, and spinal instability. In this procedure, the surgeon enters the neck from the front (the anterior region) and removes a spinal disc (discectomy). The vertebrae above and below the disc are then held in place with bone graft and sometimes metal hardware. The goal is to help the bones to grow together into one solid bone. This is known as fusion. The medical term for fusion is arthrodesis.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion is performed to join (fuse) the vertebrae together in patients with conditions such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis. This procedure may be performed at anywhere on the spine, depending on which vertebrae are affected. Spinal fusion is most often performed in the lumbar and cervical spine. New technology allows spinal fusion to be performed with the help of a microscope to magnify and illuminate the damaged area. Instead of stripping away the muscle, your surgeon can insert an endoscope through a much smaller incision and create a tunnel to the affected vertebra. This is done by splitting the muscle to pass the instrument through.
Spine fusion surgery can be performed through an incision in the front or back of the body, depending on the location of the affected vertebrae and each patient's individual condition. During the procedure, the disc between the affected vertebrae is removed, and a bone graft is inserted into the empty space. Movement of the spine in the treated area will not be possible after surgery, so it is usually only performed in one area.
When performed using minimally invasive techniques, patients can benefit from smaller scars and shorter recovery times, as well as less trauma during the actual procedure. Patients will require physical therapy and other assistance after surgery in order to restore proper function.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an injury or trauma to the head causes damage to the brain. TBI may cause a loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, behavioral changes, memory problems and more. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may eventually lead to permanent disability or death.
If you experience symptoms of traumatic brain injury, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Significant brain damage often cannot be reversed and needs to be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage. TBI is treated by stabilizing the patient and making sure enough oxygen is supplied to the brain and the rest of the body. Later treatment includes physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as psychological and social support. A TBI often causes tragic changes to a person's life and can affect their friends and family as well.
Hydrocephalus involves a build up of excess fluid within the brain as a result of an obstruction in the brain that prevents proper fluid drainage.
This condition is usually present at birth, although it can develop later in life as a result of lesions or tumors within the brain, central nervous system infections or severe head injuries. Babies born prematurely with severe bleeding within the ventricles of the brain are likely to develop hydrocephalus, as well as those with development problems in the womb or certain genetic abnormalities. Hydrocephalus affects approximately one out of every 500 children.
Patients with hydrocephalus may experience many different symptoms depending on the patient's age and the progression of the disease. Infants born with this condition often have an unusually large head that increases in size, and may experience:
- Developmental delays
Older children and adults may experience:
- Blurred vision
- Balance problems
- Memory loss
- Urinary incontinence
Each patient may experience a different combination of symptoms depending on their individual condition. It is important to seek medical attention for hydrocephalus to prevent complications such as brain damage and physical disabilities and to help patients live a healthy, normal life.
Treatment for hydrocephalus usually involves surgery to restore proper fluid drainage within the brain. This may be done by placing a shunt within one of the ventricles of the brain leading to another part of the body where the excess fluid can be easily absorbed, such as in the abdomen or heart chambers. A ventriculostomy may also be performed to create a hole in the bottom of one of the brain's ventricles, allowing fluid to flow normally.
After surgery, patients will likely need to undergo occupational therapy or psychology treatment to monitor developmental progress and detect any potential delays as soon as possible.
If you have any further questions regarding the brain and spine surgeries, please call us today to schedule a consultation.