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Dynamic Vertebral Stabilisation

Dynamic vertebral (spine) stabilisation or flexible stabilisation is a surgical technique that allows back pain to be treated with or without radiation therapy of the lower limbs in certain cases through an incision in the mid line of the area of the back to treat.

Benefits of the Operation

This is a gentler alternative for treating the pain originating in the joints of the lumbar spinal column (lower back pain or lumbago) or in the nerve roots emerging from the spine (sciatica). The affected vertebrae are not fused or fixed, thus conserving mobility and function. It is suitable in cases of degenerative diseases of the spine with a moderate degree of deterioration.

It is sometimes combined with treatment of a herniated disc (discectomy) to replace the removed vertebral disc. It can also be combined with fusion of one or several spinal segments, to prevent stress of adjacent spinal structures and their future deterioration.

Medical-technical description

Depending on the zone to treat, a suitable incision is made in the lumbar (lower back region). Two screws are inserted in each of the vertebrae to treat, which are used to fix a dynamic stabilisation system, which may consist of a flexible connector rod or flexible energy absorption system.

This system stabilises the intervertebral joints while supporting stress which would otherwise be borne by the spinal joints.

About the operation

Dynamic spinal stabilisation takes place in the operating theatre, with the patient lying face down. In most cases it is carried out under general anaesthesia. The total duration of the procedure varies according to the levels to treat and the patient's characteristics, but it generally takes between one and two hours.

After surgery, patients are woken and taken to the recovery room, where they stay for as long as the anaesthetist prescribes, which is generally about 60 minutes. The patient is then taken back to his or her room. Patients can get out of bed on the day after surgery. They generally need to stay in hospital for between two and four days.

Before the operation

  • The patient goes to the doctor's office for a prior consultation, where decisions are taken and the doctor explains the surgery in detail and gives the patient an informed consent.
  • You must take a list of all the medications you usually take (including medicinal plants) to the hospital with you on the day of your surgery.
  • You will have pre-surgical tests consisting of a full blood test, biochemistry, coagulation, chest x-ray and ECG.
  • You must wash the surgical site with an antiseptic night before and on the morning of the surgery.
  • You must not eat or drink for 8 hours before your operation.
  • You must remove all metal objects during the operation (rings, bracelets, earrings, body piercings, etc.).

Post-operative care

  • The drains are removed on the day after surgery. You will wear a semi-rigid orthopaedic corset to protect the surgical site for at least one month after the operation.
  • You will start moving on the first day. Patients are able to walk unaided after the drains are removed.
  • You will receive preventative antithrombotics and antibiotics.
  • After release, you should contact us if you suffer from chest pain or have breathing difficulties; pain, swelling or reddening in surgical site or fever or shivering.
  • For the first days after the surgery you may suffer some local discomfort, which will disappear when you take the medicine prescribed by the surgeon.
  • After release, you should contact us if you have pain in the area that cannot be treated using the usual medication or have fever or shivering.

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