Complex Spinal Reconstruction

Complex spinal reconstruction is a general term used to describe a number of more complicated surgical procedures that may be needed to address certain injuries and conditions.  In order to explain the reason for these procedures, we must first describe the anatomy of the spine:

Spinal anatomy

  • The spine is an extensive structure that extends from the base of the skull to the pelvis
  • It consists of 33 vertebral bones, and between each pair of vertebrae is a spinal disc made of cartilage that cushions the bones and allows them to move and be flexible
  • The spinal column covers and protects the spinal cord, which contains nerves that span from the brain to every other part of the body

The spinal column consists of four segments:

  • Cervical spine: consists of 7 vertebrae in the neck; connects the base of the skull to the rest of the spine; built for flexibility
  • Thoracic spine: consists of 12 vertebrae in the upper and middle back; built for stability, supporting the rib cage and holding the body upright
  • Lumbar spine: consists of 5 vertebrae in the lower back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen; built for power, flexibility and stability, and bear most of the body’s weight
  • Sacral spine: a fusion of 5 bones that form the tail end of the spinal column

There are also a number of strong ligaments and muscles that surround the spine and provide additional mobility and stability

Spinal disorders and damage

The aging process, excessive weight and certain types of physical activities can all negatively impact the spine.  Trauma, tumors, inherited (congenital) and degenerative (age-related) disorders can all result in an unstable or weakened spinal column or lead to significant neurological defects.

Degenerative damage, spinal stenosis, excessive kyphosis, vertebral fractures, scoliosis and a number of other disorders can cause pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the upper back, arms and shoulders.

Cervical and thoracic disorders may affect more than one vertebral segment of the spine, or may occur at the area where the two meet.  This area is vulnerable because the cervical spine is flexible and the thoracic spine is rigid, and issues located here can be especially problematic for patients.

Complex spinal reconstruction

If you’re experiencing pain or other symptoms in the spine or elsewhere in the body that may be related to spinal issues, it’s important to be evaluated by a medical professional that can diagnose your condition.  At Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic Inc., we specialize in spinal disorders and will perform a medical examination and other tests if necessary to determine the source of your problems.

We offer complex spinal reconstruction, which we generally recommend when more than two vertebrae are causing problems that are not otherwise treatable.  Complex spinal reconstruction is primarily used to treat spinal deformities like scoliosis, as well as for certain spinal tumors and for more severe cases of degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and fractures.

Complex spinal reconstruction uses screws, wires and rods to stabilize the spine, either to correct a fracture or correct a deformity.  Due to its level of complexity, it often requires a longer recovery time than other spinal surgeries.  Complex spinal reconstruction can involve many types of surgical procedures, and at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic Inc. we offer the following options:

  • (Not sure which types are offered.  Can be filled in accordingly.)