Treatments Offered at The Spine Institute
At The Spine Institute, our board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Dr. James Hardacker, has extensive experience with everything from conservative back and neck treatments to complex surgery such as spinal reconstruction and revision.
If conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy, epidural injections, or nerve root blocks do not relieve your back or neck pain, Dr. Hardacker may recommend surgery. Conditions that may eventually warrant surgical intervention include herniated discs; spinal stenosis; pinched nerves; spinal deformities, fractures, and tumors; and degenerative disorders. He also performs revision surgeries to correct problems from prior surgeries.
We offer our patients on-site X-ray imaging, and we utilize an upright open MRI to identify and document gravity's effect on your spinal condition. Our providers will conduct a thorough review of your medical history, including analysis of your previous spinal images, to better understand your diagnoses and treatments to date, and how they affect your current needs.
We also provide professional services for:
- Independent medical exams (IMEs)
- Second opinions
- Medical record reviews
Treatment plans range from advice and reassurance, job or life modifications, rehabilitation programs, and epidural steroid injections and nerve root blocks – to surgical procedures from microdecompression with motion preservation to comprehensive spinal realignment.
We offer unique insights into the latest advances in the field and can help you distinguish between treatment fads and those techniques and therapies offering lasting pain relief. The Spine Institute routinely accepts referrals from all over the state of Indiana as well as neighboring states. Dr. Hardacker is a spinal authority that providers and patients trust.
From minimally invasive spinal decompression for pinched nerves to extensive spinal reconstruction, we have successfully performed thousands of procedures to rectify congenital, developmental, degenerative, and traumatic spine problems.
Our experience allows us the foresight to consider the many options that may best suit your age, condition, and lifestyle in the safest manner possible.
Surgical treatments we offer include:
Spinal Decompression: This includes a variety of procedures, ranging from minimally invasive to traditional open back surgeries, with the aim of relieving pressure on a compressed nerve in the spinal cord such as:
- Microdiscectomy – Also called microdecompression, this minimally invasive outpatient procedure removes the part of the spinal disc impinging on the nerve. Commonly performed to treat herniated discs, it involves making a small incision, which drastically reduces recovery time and involves much less trauma to surrounding muscle and tissue than traditional open back surgery.
- Laminectomy, Laminotomy – A laminectomy relieves pressure on pinched nerves by surgically removing the lamina (back of a vertebra), creating more room for the spinal cord. A laminotomy removes only a portion of the lamina – the smallest amount necessary to free nerves and bring relief. It may be used to treat spinal stenosis.
Spinal Fusion: This type of surgical procedure connects vertebrae together using surgical hardware like screws and rods to hold the bones of the spine in place. A bone graft is placed around the vertebrae to get them to grow together as one solid unit to strengthen the spine. The screws and rods do not need to be removed. The disc originally between the vertebrae is removed.
Having the two vertebrae move as one can decrease pressure on nerves and reduce the likelihood of bone spurs developing. Fusion procedures can be performed in any region of the spine and are used to treat a wide variety of spinal issues, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, and more.
- Interbody fusion – when the disc between vertebrae being joined is replaced with an implant (using either an anterior or posterior approach)
- Instrumentation fusion – the use of surgical hardware to connect the vertebrae together
Reconstruction/Realignment: Every case is different, and a spinal reconstruction or realignment may involve a variety of techniques in an effort to alleviate a patient’s pain and return mobility and function. Often this means some combination of decompression procedures and spinal fusion.
As part of many procedures, a spine surgeon will cut into a bone to help change its alignment (osteotomy). A vertebrectomy (or corpectomy) to remove a vertebra and its adjacent discs may also be included in the procedure.
Reconstruction and realignment is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including scoliosis and kyphosis. Complex revision reconstruction is sometimes required to resolve problems as a result of previous spine surgeries.
We offer consultation and treatment for simple to complex spinal conditions in both adults and children, and we welcome the opportunity to share our expert advice with you. If you have acute or chronic back or neck pain, call The Spine Institute at (317) 573-7733 or use our convenient online form to request an appointment.