Procedures We Perform

Managing all aspects of the spine, NJNBI offers an array of surgical options including:

ACDF is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for relieving pressure on the nerve roots that causes pain, numbness or tingling in the neck and arm.

ALIF is a surgical procedure performed to fuse vertebrae in the spine together to provide stability.

The cervical spine is comprised of seven vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and connect to the top of the thoracic spine in the shoulder region.

A cervical laminectomy is a procedure that relieves painful pressure on the spinal cord in patients with spinal stenosis.

A laminoplasty is a surgical procedure for creating more space in the spinal canal.

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a procedure that accesses the spine from incisions created on the side of the body.

The lumbar spine is the lower portion of the back that curves inward toward the abdomen.

Lumbar decompression surgery treats spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal nerve roots are compressed by degenerated portions of the lumbar spine.

Lumbar Fusion is a procedure where the vertebrae in the lower back are surgically joined together, minimizing any movement of the vertebrae themselves.

A laminectomy, also known as a decompression surgery, is a surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the spinal nerves or cord.

A lumbar microdiscectomy is where an incision is made on the disc herniation to remove the portion creating pressure on the nerve roots.

A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure conducted to relieve nerve impingement (pinched nerves) and allow the nerves to heal.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a procedure using specialized techniques and instruments allowing Dr. LaRocca to operate with few effects on the body.

Spinal fusion is a surgery performed to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine together for stability, eliminating motion.

A posterior laminotomy is a procedure typically performed on the cervical (neck) region of the spine for relieving pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion is a procedure performed to fuse the vertebrae in the lumbar region of the spine together for stability.

Scoliosis fusion surgery is a procedure for correcting the curvature of the spine resulting from disc degeneration of the spine.

The thoracic spine refers to the upper and middle sections of the back. Learn about Dr. LaRocca’s advanced procedures to treat the thoracic spine here.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion is a surgical procedure conducted to fuse the vertebrae in the lumbar region into solid bone for stability.

What Is Lumbar Decompression Surgery?

Lumbar decompression surgery treats spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal nerve roots are compressed by degenerated (worn out) portions of the lumbar spine, such as bone spurs. The compression of the nerve roots can cause symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling or weakness of the buttocks and legs.

How Is The Procedure Performed?

During this procedure, our surgeon, Dr. LaRocca, removes the portions of the lumbar spine (usually bone spurs) that are causing the compression. The entire spine is not removed. Only the areas compressing the nerve root are removed. The decompression helps to free up space for the nerve roots and “unpinch” them. The goal of the operation is to help improve the buttock and/or leg pain. Low back pain that is in the midline of the spine may or may not improve after spinal surgery.

An incision is made down the middle of the lower back in order to access your spine. The size of the incision depends on many factors including the number of levels requiring decompression and body weight. There will generally not be any stitches to remove. There will probably be a small plastic drain that comes out near the wound. Its purpose is to keep blood clots from pooling in the wound.

What Is The Recovery Process Like?

Pain Medications

Pain is addressed on an individual basis. No two people are alike. Some people have remarkably little pain and others express less than perfect pain control. Some patients may require only oral pain pill while other may require stronger medication intravenously. On some occasions patients may require a PCA pump, a device which allows the patient to give themselves doses of a very strong narcotic in the vein. The device limits the amount of narcotic to prevent overdose.

Diet

Initially, you will be given liquids to drink. Your diet will rapidly be advanced to regular food, as you tolerate it.

Brace

You may need to wear a back brace after spine surgery. The type of brace depends on the exact nature of the surgery – not everyone needs one. The brace limits back motion in order to help fusion occur. In the case of a decompression, it provides comfort and a feeling of stability. How long the brace is worn depends on the nature of the surgery you have and the quality of your bone. Generally, the brace is to be worn when up and around and may be removed for dressing, showering, or sleeping.

Physical Therapy

You will participate in physical therapy as early as the day of your lumbar decompression surgery. This is extremely important to your overall recovery from surgery for a number of reasons. Getting out of bed is good for your lungs, it prevents blood clots from forming in your legs, and it speeds your recovery. Most of the time, you will not need physical therapy after leaving the hospital. Some people will need to use a walker during their initial recovery period, others will not. Both are normal.

Going Home

Your length of stay in the hospital depends on many factors, including your general medical condition and the severity of your back problem. Most people who have a one level decompression can go home on the day of their spinal surgery or one to two days after. If more levels need decompression, your hospital stay may be longer.

Patients usually go home when they can:

  • Take oral pain pills
  • Eat and drink enough to sustain themselves
  • Get out of bed and walk around

Why Choose The New Jersey Neck & Back Institute in Lawrenceville?

At the New Jersey Neck and Back Institute, our objective is getting our patients results that allow them to live happy, comfortable, and pain-free lives. Our experienced and professional medical team understands your concerns about scoliosis, a lumbar laminectomy, or partial discectomy and we’re prepared to help you understand your diagnosis and choose the treatment that’s most likely to give you the results you’re looking for.

Have Another Question?

Contact us online or call us at 609-896-0020 for more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. LaRocca. We serve all of New Jersey (including Princeton, Lawrenceville, Trenton, and Hamilton) and Buck’s County, Pennsylvania.