Patients in Orange County who suffer from chronic pain or other back and spine issues may need to eventually seek relief through spine surgery in Mission Viejo, CA. Dr. Alexander Taghva, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., a board-certified neurosurgeon, offers a wide range of options for back surgery to address several different spinal health concerns.
About Spine Surgery
The spinal column, which runs from the skull down to the pelvis, is made up of a series of bones and cushioning discs, which support the body in an upright position, allowing for easy movement, and protect the spinal cord, which delivers information from the brain to the body. These bones and discs may develop improperly during normal growth, develop many problems over time, or become injured, causing pain and other issues.
Spine surgery is typically performed to correct a structural issue or injury in the back that will not resolve with other therapies. When less invasive treatment options do not correct a patient’s health concerns, surgical treatment is an effective tool for treating a wide range of spinal issues.
There are many different types of spine surgery, depending on the patient’s specific needs. Back problems like a herniated or ruptured disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column), scoliosis, fractures caused by osteoporosis, bulging discs, and chronic pain are just a few of the conditions that can be addressed with back surgery in Mission Viejo with Dr. Taghva.
Benefits of Back Surgery in Orange County
Patients are, understandably, often nervous about undergoing spinal surgery. While any surgical procedure can be scary, the benefits of back surgery typically far outweigh the risks. Most patients who undergo spine surgery in Orange County experience significant improvement in their overall quality of life.
Some benefits of back surgery, depending on the procedure, include reduced pain, better mobility, and improved spinal stability. Patients often find spinal surgery to be life-changing, as it can empower them to once again enjoy activities pain-free and allow them to achieve long-term pain management while reducing or eliminating the need for prescription pain medications.
Dr. Taghva offers his patients cutting-edge techniques, such as minimally-invasive spine surgery, to create excellent results while reducing blood loss and encouraging a faster recovery process. He is the only spine surgery expert in Mission Viejo offering endoscopic spine surgery, a technique that uses a small camera for visibility during surgery and requires only a small incision. Patients can gain all the benefits of back surgery with a less invasive procedure and typically go home soon after surgery.
Candidates for Spine Surgery in Orange County
Good candidates for back surgery in Mission Viejo, CA, are men, women, and children suffering from certain spine conditions that have not responded to non-surgical treatments. Many candidates for spine surgery suffer from chronic back and neck pain. Patients should consult with their primary care physician and speak with a board-certified neurosurgeon about the different treatment options available. Each surgical procedure has its specific requirements.
Your Surgical Consultation
If you think you might be able to benefit from spine surgery at Dr. Taghva’s South Orange County practice, your first step should be to talk to your healthcare providers and to set up a consultation at our office.
During your back surgery consultation in Mission Viejo with Dr. Taghva, you will discuss the pros and cons of surgery. Dr. Taghva will go over your medical history, ask about your symptoms and past treatments, and perform an exam.
He may order imaging and other tests before recommending a treatment plan. If you are a good candidate for spinal surgery, Dr. Taghva will provide you with specific information about the procedure he recommends, the necessary preparation steps, and the recovery.
You are encouraged to ask questions during your consultation. Choosing spine surgery is a major decision, and it’s important to have everything you need to make an informed treatment decision.
Preparing for Back Surgery
When you schedule your back surgery, Dr. Taghva’s office will give you a detailed list of preparation instructions. You may need to get certain tests and talk to your doctor about changing some of your medications in preparation for surgery. Some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and prescription medications can increase risks during surgery and must be put on hold for several weeks before and after spinal surgery.
Patients preparing for spine surgery at our Mission Viejo facility will need to stop smoking well in advance of the procedure. Depending on the treatment option you choose, you may need general anesthesia and will need to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the day of the surgery. You should arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment, even if your procedure is on an outpatient basis.
Types of Spine Surgery
The type of surgery a patient will need depends on the type and severity of their spinal health concerns. Dr. Taghva offers several spinal surgery types to help each patient find relief. He uses minimally-invasive techniques whenever possible. Some of the surgical treatments he offers include:
- Minimally-invasive laminotomy—a lumbar decompression procedure that addresses lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal, often caused by the formation of bone spurs, thickened spinal ligaments, or arthritis) and providing relief for patients with back pain and sciatica caused by nerve root compression.
- Minimally-invasive discectomy – removal of a portion of a damaged disc to reduce pressure on the spinal cord.
- Minimally-invasive foraminotomy—relieving pressure on compressed spinal nerves by removing blockages and enlarging openings around affected bones in the spine.
- Minimally-invasive lateral fusion (XLIF)—a spinal fusion surgery performed through the side of the body that can treat spinal column problems such as recurring herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and degenerative scoliosis.
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)—a spinal fusion surgery addressing the lumbar spine (lower spine) that involves fusing the bones of the spine using bone grafts to treat issues like degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis (disc slipping).
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)—a surgery performed to relieve pain caused by pinched nerves, ACDF involves damaged disc removal in the neck area of the spinal column and fusing the bones with a bone graft for improved stability.
- Posterior lumbar fusion (PLIF)—also known as transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), this procedure fuses lumbar spine bones to increase stability. It is often performed alongside lumbar decompression.
- Total disc replacement—surgically replaces a damaged disc with an artificial disc.
- Revision spinal surgery—correction of issues left by a prior surgical procedure.
Spinal Surgery Recovery
After spine surgery in Mission Viejo, patients will need to follow Dr. Alexander Taghva’s recovery instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and to reduce the risk of spinal surgery complications occurring.
Back surgery recovery time varies considerably. Many patients’ incisions heal quickly, but the final healing of the spinal column may take several months. Dr. Taghva will provide you with information on activity restrictions, what to expect, and how to set yourself up for optimal results. He also educates patients on proper spine care to help prevent problems in the future.
Risks Associated with Back Surgery
All surgical procedures involve some risk, including spine surgery in Orange County. Risks and potential complications vary from procedure to procedure and will be discussed during your consultation. Choosing a respected, board-certified spine surgeon who offers minimally-invasive spine surgery is one of the best ways to reduce the risks associated with back surgery.
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FAQS about Spine Surgery
Surgical treatment for spine conditions is typically a last resort. Physical therapy at an orthopedic institute, pain management with neuromodulation, and other less-invasive treatments are preferred initially. If the patient’s symptoms do not respond to these treatments, surgery may be the best option.
Different surgical procedures have different associated costs. The total back surgery cost will include surgical fees, anesthesia, facility fees, and other miscellaneous costs. Patients should check with their health insurance providers to determine possible coverage.
The best way to improve your results and reduce risks for complications following spine surgery is to follow Dr. Taghva’s pre- and post-operative instructions to the letter. If you follow these instructions closely, you will set yourself up for a quick and successful recovery.
Most spine conditions are associated with older individuals, but some children and young adults also develop problems within the spinal column due to genetics, injury and other factors. Spine surgery for scoliosis is one of the most common spine procedures in children and teens.
If you suffer from chronic back pain and nothing seems to be helping, then you might want to consider spine surgery in Mission Viejo, CA. Call 949-388-7190 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alexander Taghva at our Orange County facility.
Why Choose Dr. Alexander Taghva
Dr. Alexander Taghva is a leading board-certified neurosurgeon, specializing in brain surgery, endoscopic spine surgery, and spine disorders. He is the only neuro-surgeon in Orange County who offers endoscopic laminotomy surgery. Dr. Taghva:
- Graduated from John Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of California
- Completed a prestigious fellowship at The Ohio State University in Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery
- Specializes in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery, spinal stenosis, artificial disc replacement, spinal disorders, spinal surgery revision, and other spinal conditions.
- Specializes in brain surgery to treat trigeminal neuralgia, brain tumors, pituitary tumors, and Parkinson’s disease.
- A highly-respected neurosurgeon with many years of experience, including treating chronic pain via stimulation of the spinal cord and brain
- Actively involved in medical research and the lead investigator for clinical trials on spinal cord stimulation