Avoiding Spinal Fusion Surgery

For many, the prospect of a spinal fusion surgery is enough to make them forego treating their neck pain and instead attempt to “grin and bear” the nagging pain associated with cervical spinal conditions.  The predominant reason many patients opt not to have a spinal fusion procedure is a result of anecdotal stories of friends or family who underwent cervical spine fusions and had less than optimal results or lost range of motion in their neck.

It should be noted that if you are suffering chronic neck pain coupled with numbness, tingling or pain in the arms or hands, you should seek treatment as this is a sign of spinal nerve impingement or damage.  However, not all patients with chronic conditions of the cervical spine need to undergo spinal fusion surgeries, despite what they may have been told by other physicians.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Anthony Virella of Virella Neurosurgery believes in preserving the motion of the cervical spine whenever possible.  Instead of the typical spinal fusion, Dr. Virella is one of the few spinal surgeons who chooses to perform a  decompression of the pinched spinal nerve utilizing a Minimally Invasive surgical approach.  This Minimally Invasive approach requires a very small incision to decompress the nerves and relieve the symptoms.   Furthermore, the use of this small incision eliminates unnecessary dissection of muscle and tissue and substantially reduces recovery time.  Many patients return home from surgery on the same day.

Dr. Anthony Virella is a Board-Certified, Fellowship trained Neurological Spine Surgeon with advanced training in the management of complex spinal disorders. He attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a graduate of the UCLA Neurosurgery Residency Program. Dr. Virella completed his complex spine in-folding resident fellowship at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation with Dr. Edward C. Benzel, M.D. Additional work included a second fellowship in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at the UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center. Dr. Virella is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of complex and minimally invasive spine surgery.   He has offices located in Westlake Village, Simi Valley, and Valencia.