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Spine

Spinal Surgery

The University of Mississippi Medical Center spine program brings together the expertise of specialists from different disciplines to one facility, pinpointing and treating the sources of adult spine, back and neck pain while offering the latest, most innovative non-surgical and surgical treatment options. The program encompasses neurosurgery, orthopaedic and pain management specialties.

Team members include neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, physiatrists (physicians specializing in physical rehabilitation), specially trained nurses and rehabilitation therapists specializing in the treatment of adult spinal diseases. Some of the disorders and conditions treated include muscle strain/sprains, degenerative disc disease, herniated or ruptured discs, radiculopathy, myelopathy, lower back pain, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spinal cord tumors and spinal trauma. 

Complex spine deformities

The skilled spine team includes a surgeon specially trained to deal with complex spine deformities, including conditions of the craniovertebral junction. Conditions include compression where the brain stem and spinal cord meet, forcing brain matter into the spinal canal or vertebral matter upward into the brain stem. Surgery typically requires skull base approaches to relieve compression combined with spinal stabilization.

Spinal cord injury support group

UMMC hosts a spinal cord injury support group for those with spinal cord injuries or impairments and their family members and/or caregivers. The group meets at 3:30-4:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Sessions are held at University Rehabilitation Center, room CR 145. For information, call (601) 815-3189.

Surgical spine procedures

  • Total cervical disc arthoplasty
    Replacing a cervical disc with an artificial disc is one of the many options available to University Physicians spine specialists. The prosthetic device inserted between the vertebral bodies helps maintain mobility in the affected neck area and relieves pressure on the spinal nerves and/or spinal cord.

  • Discectomy
    A discectomy may be considered when a fragment of the spinal disc becomes dislodged (herniated), causing radiating pain into an arm or leg. The fragment is removed during the surgical procedure, relieving pressure against the surrounding nerves. University Physicians spine specialists will determine whether a traditional open surgery is needed or a minimally invasive procedure would be most beneficial for the patient.

  • Cervical laminaplasty
    A variety of conditions, ranging from bone spurs to ligament thickening, can put pressure on the spinal cord in the neck. Laminaplasty is a surgical procedure to consider if a patient has multiple levels of spinal cord compression. UMMC’s team of spine specialists are well versed in the procedure that opens the spinal canal, relieves pressure on the spinal cord, spares cervical motion and maintains vertebral stability.
  • Laminectomy
    Arthritic changes within the joints, traumatic injury, herniated disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal) or tumors of the spine can cause compression to the spinal canal or nerves. Symptoms of radiating leg or arm pain that interfere with normal daily activities may require surgery. Laminectomy is a type of surgery in which a physician removes part or all of the vertebral bone (lamina) to relieve compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots. A laminectomy is considered only after medical treatments have proven to be ineffective. UMMC’s spine specialists can be performed as either a minimally invasive or open surgery.

  • Spinal fusion
    A spinal fusion, a procedure to stop the motion between two or more segments of the spine, may be considered if a patient has intractable low back pain, degenerative disc disease, kyphosis, scoliosis or spinal instability. A fusion may include only bone, but may require hardware (screw and plate or rod) to hold the segments rigid while the body is fusing them. When a patient has degenerative disc disease or discogenic pain, an interbody fusion may be considered. UMMC’s team of spine specialists removes the disc and replaces it with allograft or machined spacer, thus fusing the bones together. A spinal fusion can be done through several different techniques, including poster fusion, anterior interbody fusion or lateral interbody fusion, and may be done with an open or minimally invasive approach.