Surgery / procedures

Of the roughly 300 spinal column procedures that Dr Stephan Noe performs each year, two thirds involve expanding a narrowed spinal canal and disk surgeries. One third of the operations involve fusing the lumbar and cervical spine.

In the case of spinal canal stenoses, the surgeon enlarges the space for the constricted nerves with the use of a 15x magnification surgical microscope. Protruding bone is removed millimetre by millimetre using a micro-cutter. This procedure largely preserves the stability of the spinal column. The minuscule cuts do not damage the adjacent muscles and ligaments.
In disk surgeries as well, the surgeon removes the herniated disc with the aid of a surgical microscope. This frees the nerve under pressure from the herniation. The severe radiating pain routinely disappears after the operation.
If the vertebrae are severely affected making it impossible to implant a prosthetic disc, the corresponding section of the lumbar or cervical spine can be fused. However, fusion surgeries should only be considered after all the conservative treatment options have been exhausted.
Fusing involves securing the adjacent vertebrae with screws and correcting their position using vertical braces. A support cage is inserted instead of discs.