Motion Preservation Surgery

Motion Preservation Surgery is a procedure that can help increase spine flexibility, reduce stress on discs, and has a shorter recovery time to get back to full strength. Often, patients will experience pain and discomfort in their spine from either existing conditions or possible injuries. Being able to have a range of motion that is normal is the goal for this surgery which can be less invasive than similar procedures that involve spinal fusion.

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Why It’s Done


Motion preservation surgery is a newer surgical approach to manage pain and injury without having to engage in a spinal fusion, which can at times limit range of motion and impact posture. Motion preservation surgery may be an option for you if you have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, spinal deformities, or compression fractures in the spine. There are numerous benefits with motion preservation surgery including a shorter recovery period, increased movement, and reduced disc stress. For disc related issues, there are artificial disc options that exist which can serve as a good alternative to fusing the bones. For nerve related issues, by using specialized rods in the spine, pain and pressure can be relieved, increasing patient functionality.

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There are some associated risks with a tumor resection procedure which can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding

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What To Expect?

During Motion Preservation Surgery


  1. You are given general anesthesia.
  2. The surgeon creates a small incision around the afflicted area.
  3. The surgeon carefully removes the damaged disc. This leaves a space between the vertebrae.
  4. The surgeon inserts a replacement artificial disc to maintain your range of motion and flexibility.
  5. The incision is closed with stitches or staples.

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After Motion Preservation Surgery


  1. Patients undergoing motion preservation surgery may be required to stay in a hospital for a day or two before being discharged.
  2. Pain and inflammation may be experienced around the area.
  3. Depending on the area for your surgery, you may also be given additional support devices to aid in your recovery.
  4. Limiting stressful activities may be required during your recovery period to ensure the best conditions for healing.
  5. Normal activities can generally be resumed within a few weeks.

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Christopher P Demers neurosurgeon

Christopher Demers


Dante F. Vacca, MD, FAANS

Dante F. Vacca


Jay K. Morgan, MD, FAANS

Jay K. Morgan


Marshall Tolbert, MD, PhD, FAANS

Marshall Tolbert


Michael Moore neurosurgeon

Michael Moore


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Neurosurgery?

Most people think of neurosurgeons as brain surgeons, and this is true! However, neurosurgeons are more broadly defined as highly trained medical specialists who diagnose and treat disorders of the entire nervous system – including our brain, spinal cord, skull and the spine (bony vertebral column). Of course, they operate on the brain, but they actually spend more of their time helping patients with spine and peripheral nerve disorders.

Do I need surgery if I am being referred to a neurosurgeon?

Not necessarily. Your referring physician most likely believes that you have a disease or disorder which would benefit from diagnoses, testing and treatment by a neurosurgeon. The decision whether or not to recommend surgery is a complex one, best handled by your neurosurgeon and his/her team.

What is the difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon?

Each of these surgical specialists has their own areas of expertise however, their skill and expertise overlap in the area of spinal surgery. Both specialties require 5-7 years of residency training, followed in some cases by additional time in fellowship training. Neurosurgeons perform spinal operations dealing with the cervical discs, nerves, and the bony spine, while orthopedic surgeons handle surgeries limited to the bony spine, such as spinal fusion.

How do I make an appointment with Sierra Neurosurgery Group?

Call us today at (775) 323-2080 or toll free (888) 323-2080.  We have 5 locations to serve you: Carson City, Elko, Fallon, Reno and Sparks.  If your health insurance plan requires a referral, contact your primary care or emergency room physician and request a referral to Sierra Neurosurgery Group.

What is the difference between a neurologist and a neurosurgeon?

A neurologist and a neurosurgeon are similar to a cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon: the neurosurgeon can offer a surgical solution to neurologic disorders, while the neurologist identifies neurological disorders through diagnostic testing and uses non-surgical treatment options.

Do you offer X-rays and MRI’s?

Sierra Neurosurgery offers comprehensive imaging services at our Reno office on Kietzke Lane, including X-Ray services and MRI scans with & without contrast.  This provides a quick, easy and no-hassle way to complete necessary imaging as part of your treatment plan.

What to Expect From Your Visit

Sierra Neurosurgery Group is focused on providing the highest quality surgeries with the best possible patient care. We focus on creating a unique experience for each of our patients to show them we understand their current situation and to do our best to help them get back to living the life they want. We provide the best care to our patients because we have assembled a team of professionals with extensive surgical experience consisting of neurosurgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and interventional pain specialists. Our personnel, focus on patients, and quality of care allows Sierra Neurosurgery Group to be highly effective in creating the best results and outcomes for our patients.