Back and neck procedures

Dr. Schwartz is a fellowship orthopedic surgeon trained in spine surgery. Depending on your condition, there are a number of back surgery types that Dr. Schwartz may perform. 

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

If you have a herniated disc, Dr. Schwartz may perform an ACDF, which is an operation that involves relieving the pressure placed on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord. Discectomy involves removing all or part of an intervertebral disc. The term discectomy is derived from the Latin words discu (flat, circular object or plate) and – ectomy (removal). 

Spinal fusion involves placing bone graft between the vertebrae where the disc was to promote a solid column in that area, thereby helping to keep pressure off the nerve roots and spinal canal.


Anterior Lumbar Inter-body Fusion (ALIF)

The anterior lumbar inter-body fusion (ALIF) is a procedure when the disc space is fused by approaching the spine through the abdomen instead of through the lower back. There is a small two-inch incision on the side of your lower abdomen and the abdominal muscles are retracted to the side.

Since the anterior abdominal muscle in the midline (rectus abdominis) runs vertically, it does not need to be cut and easily retracts to the side. The abdominal contents lay inside a large sack (peritoneum) that can also be retracted, thus allowing Dr. Schwartz access to the front of the spine without actually entering the abdomen.


Scoliosis Surgery

There are different techniques and methods used today for scoliosis surgery. The most frequently performed back surgery for idiopathic adolescent scoliosis involves spinal instrumentation with fusion of the vertebrae involved. This is done with a combination of screws, hooks and rods that are attached to the bones of the spine to hold them in place. 

Dr. Schwartz will place a bone graft above and below the bones to be fused to get them to grow together and become solid. This prevents any further curvature in that portion of the spine. In most cases, the screws and rods will remain in your spine and not need to be removed. There are many different ways to perform the fusion surgery. It may all be performed from a single incision on the back of your spine while you lie on your stomach. The surgery may also be done from the back, combined with another incision along your front or side. This decision is based on the location and severity of the curve.


Microlumbar Discectomy (MLD)

A microlumbar discectomy (MLD) is an out-patient procedure that can be performed using minimally invasive spine surgery. It is a type of surgery in which the lumbar spine is approached through a small incision in the back. 

The name of the procedure is derived from: Micro (small), lumbar (lower back) and discectomy (removal of the protruding portion of the disc).


Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

A transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a procedure that can be performed using minimally invasive spine surgery. In this surgery, the lumbar spine is approached through an incision in the back. 

The name of the procedure is derived from: Transforaminal (through the foramen), lumbar (lower back), interbody (between two vertebrae) and fusion (stabilization using bone graft and implants).


Extreme Lateral Inter-body Fusion (XLIF)

An XLIF is performed to reduce instability and improper motion between the vertebrae from lumbar 2 to lumbar 5, to restore height between the vertebrae that your disc used to provide or for bone graft material placement and instrumentation placement.

During the procedure, most of the damaged disc between the two bones that are to be stabilized is removed and a spacer is placed to restore correct spinal alignment. Dr. Schwartz also implants bone-forming cells that multiply around the spacer to bridge the space between the vertebrae and allow the bones to grow together, resulting in a “fusion.” 

Increased stability, improved alignment and restoration of space between the vertebrae often result in significant pain relief. There is a small two-inch incision on your side.