Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery

As with orthopaedic surgery, spine surgery is an elective surgery which aims to improve the quality of the daily life of the patient. In general this type of surgery is expensive and is not covered by some European and American Healthcare systems.

When considering spinal surgery, important considerations for the international patient are quality, the credentials and expertise of the doctors and surgeons, surgical facilities, post-operative care, etc.

The Orthopaedic Surgery, Traumatology and Sports Medicine Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital offer its patients the best and most up-to-date techniques for treating any type of affection of the musculoskeletal system:

  • Innovative techniques in regenerative medicine
  • Minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
  • Percutaneous, arthroscopic and prosthetic interventions

The most sought after spine surgery are the laminectomy, the arthroplasty of intervertebral disc, and the spinal fusion.

Spinal surgery requires a change in daily life for several weeks; rehabilitation begins on the first day after the surgery. The Physiotherapy Centre at Vithas Xanit International Hospital has a team of professionals specialized in different areas of rehabilitation that work closely with the medical traumatology team. The physiotherapy work at Vithas Xanit starts during the preoperative process to shorten recovery times and to ensure that daily activities are resumed as quickly as possible.



The vertebral column or backbone consists of 33 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs (spongy discs) that enable its movement. The blade is the part of the bone that is located at the back of the vertebrae. The spinal cord is located within the spinal column and is the bundle of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal nerves connect the spinal cord to the rest of the body

Indicators for lumbar laminectomy:

Laminectomy is recommended in case of either the spinal cord compression or the compression of  the roots of the spinal nerves. This is basically caused by:

  • Herniated discs
  • Tumors
  • Another type of spinal stenosis

The pain is so acute that it incapacitates patients in their daily activities.

Surgical technique for lumbar laminectomy:

The laminectomy consists of liberating the vertebral canal from the bone fragments that narrow the spinal canal and create the compression of the spinal cord. The surgeon makes an incision at the height of the vertebra and removes either the spinal bone fragments or the complete lamina.

Surgeon can operate one or several laminae during the same surgical procedure.

Type of surgery and anesthesia:

The surgery can last for several hours, depending on the case. It can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. It is performed with either general or local-regional anaesthesia (spinal).

The patient usually remains in hospital for several days.

Rehabilitation following a laminectomy:

The laminectomy is a surgery that requires several week of rehabilitation beginning on the first day after surgery.

Postoperative monitoring of lumbar laminectomy

A follow-up is performed by taking an x-ray 3 weeks after the intervention and a more active re-education protocol is set.


This spine surgery is intended to replace a damage intervertebral disc using biocompatible disc prosthesis.

Indicators for lumbar arthroplasty:

The arthroplasty of the intervertebral disc is recommended in case the spinal cord  compression or when the roots of the spinal nerves are compressed, basically caused by:

  • Herniated discs
  • Tumors
  • Other types of spinal stenosis When the space between the vertebrae has been reduced so much that prevents normal movement of the spine

Procedure of  the arthroplasty of intervertebral disc:

When carrying out reconstructive surgery on the intervertebral disc the surgeon locates the disc and removes the damaged section. In the event of a herniated disc the surgeon takes the opportunity to remove it during surgery.  Once the intervertebral space is reset, the disc prosthesis is put in place.

The intervertebral disc prosthesis consists of 2 metal “cymbals”. They are fixed to the vertebrae: one to the upper vertebra, and the other one to the inferior vertebra, they are articulated thanks to the polyethylene “cymbal”: the intervertebral disc prostheses resets the intervertebral space and the movement is restored in the treated segment.

This type of spinal surgery enables the surgeon to operate in front of the spinal nerves, thus minimising the risk of neurological damage.

Type of surgery and anesthesia:

The disc arthroplasty surgery lasts approx 2 and a half hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. Although it can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, it is still considered major surgery.

The patient usually remains in hospital for several days.

Postoperative Monitoring of intervertebral disc arthroscopy

Monitoring consists of periodic X-rays to ensure the proper evolution of the disc prosthesis.


This spine surgery is performed to fuse one or more intervertebral joints to restore the stability of the spine.

Indicators for spinal fusion: Intervertebral lumbar fusion or lumbar arthrodesis can be recommended in the following cases:

  • Compression of either the spinal cord or the roots of the spinal nerves with instability of the vertebrae
  • Serious arthrosis

Intervertebral fusion procedure:

There are various possibilities, depending on the pathology and age of the patient. The surgeon will meet the patient and assess their symptoms, and radiological test results, before deciding on the best form of treatment.

When the fusion is performed on two vertebrae, the surgeon removes the damaged lumbar disc and puts a bone graft between the 2 adjacent vertebrae.

The 2 vertebrae are immobilized using a system of screws and plates that stimulate the bone growth with the assistance of the graft restoring the stability of the spine in that particular area. The growth of the bone is faster when using an autologous graft.

There are 2 lines of approach in spinalfusion surgery:

  • The Posterior Lumbar Intervertebral Fusion.
    This is the most frequently used technique and can be performed using minimally invasive procedures, thus preserving muscle function and reducing scarring.
  • The Anterior Lumbar Intervertebral Fusion.
    This approach is mainly carried out for cervical fusions and can be used alone or in combination with a posterior fusion.

Type of surgery and anaesthesia:

The spinal fusion surgery lasts for several hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. Although it can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, it is still considered major surgery.

The patient usually remains in hospital for several days.

Postoperative monitoring of the lumbar fusion

The monitoring is mainly based on periodic X-rays to ensure the proper evolution of the arthrodesis.


1- Information and reasons for your spine surgery

Within 24 hours of receiving your request for information, we will contact you by e-mail or phone to assess your needs, identify your reasons for surgery and answer your questions directly.

2- Diagnosis and choosing the appropriate type of spinal surgery

To begin with we recommend that you visit our Orthopaedic and Traumatology Surgery Department. In order that the specialist can discuss your case, and decide which kind of spinal surgery best suits your particular requirements.

  • Medical records:
    We will send you a list of examinations and medical tests that we will need during your first visit to Vithas Xanit International Hospital. In the event that our doctors deem necessary an additional screening test, this could be carried out during the same visit (except in the case of tests with anesthesia, which should be scheduled). You may send us a copy of your medical information before planning your first visit.
  • Diagnosis:
    The professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic and traumatology pathologies will study your medical records, the medical records, the result of tests and examinations, and will establish a precise and reliable diagnosis. We will assist you in choosing with you the type of orthopaedic surgery which is best suited to your particular case.

We will provide you with complete information: treatment process, programming and a detailed quote.

3- Spinal surgery process

  • Protocol for spine surgery
    The process and the programming of treatment is different according to the type of orthopaedic surgery being carried out and your particular case.
  • An assigned medical team
    Throughout your treatment process you will always deal with the same team of doctors.

4- Your medical travel and your spine surgery

Once your planned spinal surgery has been confirmed and accepted, our International Services Team at Vithas Xanit International Hospital will be at your disposal to assist you with the organising of your trip to Malaga and will remain in constant contact with you.

5- Your arrival

Upon your arrival in Malaga, a representative of Vithas Xanit International Hospital will be waiting to greet you. We will help you to organise your transfers and accompany you to our hospital.

6- Follow up of your spine surgery

  • Maintaining contact with you.
    Once you have been discharged, our International Services Team will be at your disposal should you require any further medical assistance, and shall assist you with any administrative requirements that you may have.
  • Informing your referring doctor.
    We shall provide you with a full medical report which you can give to your own doctor back home.

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