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Understanding the Different Types of Spine Surgeries

“You need spine surgery,” isn’t something you probably want to hear — but sometimes it’s necessary to relieve your chronic back or neck pain. There are many different spine surgeries available, and the one that’s right for you is determined by what’s causing your pain. 

Our team at Kellogg Brain and Spine specializes in many kinds of chronic pain treatments, including spine surgery. Our expert neurosurgeon, Dr. Jordi Kellogg, performs an exam, talks with you, and gets imaging studies to determine if you need surgery.

When do you need spine surgery?

Chronic back pain is a real drag, especially when it doesn’t respond to conservative treatments. Your pain may have started after a traumatic injury or could just be from wear and tear on your spine over time. Either way, getting your pain under control is a top priority.

There are a lot of different conditions that lead to chronic pain in your spine. Some are more severe than others, but all of them can make your life difficult at times. 

Some common conditions that lead to chronic back pain include:

Many times, noninvasive treatments like physical therapy and anti-inflammatories are used as a first-line treatment for your back pain. Along with these, Dr. Kellogg may also recommend other conservative treatments such as steroid injections or pain medications.

However, if your pain persists even with conservative treatments, Dr. Kellogg may discuss spine surgery to help get your pain under control. Spine surgery is usually very successful, but because it requires anesthesia and incisions, it’s reserved for cases where other treatments don’t work.

Common types of spine surgery

If you’re at the point where Dr. Kellogg is discussing spine surgery as the next step in your treatment process, he determines the type of surgical procedure based on the condition that’s causing your pain.

Here are a few of the spine surgeries he performs that are used to treat spinal pain.


A laminectomy is performed when your pain is caused by compression of a nerve, either due to spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. Dr. Kellogg removes some of the bone, or lamina, to relieve the excess pressure on the nerve.

Disc replacement

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that wears down your intervertebral discs over time, causing chronic pain. When this is the case, Dr. Kellogg performs a disc replacement and removes the damaged disc in your spine. He then replaces it with a prosthetic disc that provides the proper cushioning your spine needs.

Lumbar fusion

A lumbar fusion is performed when your spine has excess motion due to conditions like spondylolisthesis or degenerative disc disease. To correct this motion, Dr. Kellogg fuses two or more of your vertebrae together to prevent excess motion and stabilize that area of your spine. He can do this procedure several ways, depending on your situation.


This stands for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Dr. Kellogg performs this procedure when your pain is coming from spine damage in your neck. He removes damaged tissue and then fuses vertebrae together to relieve your pain and provide stability to your cervical spine.


Dr. Kellogg performs a cervical posterior foraminotomy when you’re suffering from neck pain related to conditions like cervical stenosis or a herniated cervical disc. The procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, and it alleviates pressure on the nerves in your neck.

Decompression discectomy

This procedure is used when you have a herniated disc that’s putting pressure on your nerves and causing pain. Dr. Kellogg does this using minimally invasive techniques to remove the part of your disc that’s compressing the nerve root.

Before moving forward with any of these surgeries, Dr. Kellogg evaluates your overall health to make sure surgery is a viable option for you.

If you’re being plagued by chronic pain in your spine, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. To set one up, click the request an appointment button while you’re here on our website. You can also book an appointment by calling the nearest office in Portland or Wilsonville, Oregon.

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