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Spine Society of West Bengal

Reading Corners :: For Patients

FAQs related to Spine Surgery

These are only general information. Advice can not be provided on an individual basis. SSWB is not responsible for the use of the information provided.

1. What is "slip disc" ?

Intervertebral disc is a pad like anatomical structure made of fibrous cartilage that lie between the vertebrae. It has two parts- a jelly like center (nucleus pulposus) that looses it’s moisture with aging, and a tough fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) that develops crack in it with aging, injury or excessive strain. A ‘slip disc‘ occurs when the disc’s jelly like center leaks out through the crack at fibrous ring and comes out into the spinal canal. The slipped disc then can cause pressure on nerves or spinal cord. It happens commonly at neck or back. Smoking, heavy weight lifting and working with vibrating machines can also cause slip disc.

2. What is scoliosis ?

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature or deviation (right or left) of the spine more than 10° and associated with rotation of vertebra. It can happen most commonly in adolescent girls but children since birth, pre school children and older people may also get affected by scoliosis.

3. Can bone TB affect spine also?

Tuberculosis can affect any organ of the body at any age. Spine can be affected by tuberculosis and it is not uncommon. Tuberculosis bacteria can come to vertebra from other organs through blood .and can destroy the vertebral bone, disc, ligaments, joints and other structures producing pus, dead bone chips and necrotic tissue which cause pressure on spinal cord and nerves. Vertebral column may become deformed or unstable. It also causes severe pain at back or neck. In severe cases, patient may be paralysed. Any case of TB spine need immediate medical attention and patient should consult a spine doctor without any delay.

4. Does all patients having back or neck pain require spinal surgery?

No. All back or neck pain patients do not need spine surgery. In fact, most of the simple back or neck pain patients can be managed with non-surgical methods. Only those patients who has risk of permanent damage of spinal cord or nerves, those who have already damaged nerves, who did not get relief from non-surgical treatment or who have very unstable spine or deformity of spine may need spinal surgery.


Written by: Dr Chinmay Nath, Consultant Spine Surgeon, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata

Published on: Feb 10, 2016

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