Last Updated on August 13, 2023 by asifa
Back surgery can help alleviate or relieve some causes of back pain. Although back surgery is rarely necessary, you may discuss this option with your doctor when your pain doesn’t improve with conservative treatments. No one ever desires to have surgery, but it is sometimes the best way to relieve pain and regain function. Thanks to the advancements in the medical field, patients can have back surgery without a lengthy hospital stay. The team at Spine Center Atlanta performs minimally invasive spine surgery, which poses fewer risks and requires a shorter recovery period.
Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. While most cases of back pain can be treated with conservative methods such as physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes, some back conditions may require surgery to relieve the pain and restore function.
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Here are some back conditions that may require surgery:
- Herniated Disc – A herniated disc occurs when the soft tissue inside a spinal disc bulges out and presses against a nerve, causing pain and other symptoms. Surgery may be required if conservative treatments fail to relieve symptoms.
- Spinal Stenosis – Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain and other symptoms. Surgery may be required to relieve the pressure and prevent further damage.
- Spondylolisthesis – Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra slips out of place, causing pain and other symptoms. Surgery may be required to stabilize the spine and prevent further slippage.
- Degenerative Disc Disease – Degenerative disc disease is a condition in which the spinal discs degenerate and cause pain and other symptoms. Surgery may be required to remove the damaged disc and replace it with an artificial one.
When would I need back surgery?
Back surgery may be an option if you have debilitating pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatments. You are more likely to benefit from back surgery if you have pain and numbness that radiates on one or both of your legs. These symptoms often occur due to the compression of nerves in your spine. There are various reasons why nerves may become compressed. They include:
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs through a tunnel formed by a series of vertebrae – the spinal canal. Lumbar spinal stenosis is whereby the spinal canal in the lower part of your back narrows, causing pressure on the nerves. Although spinal stenosis can affect any region along the spine, it is most common in the lower back and neck regions. If you have lumbar spinal stenosis, you may have difficulties walking or need to lean forward to relieve pressure on your back. Surgery may be an option if you have severe symptoms like bowel or bladder control loss.
A herniated disc is a problem with one or several rubbery cushions that sit between each vertebra. These rubbery cushions called discs have a soft, jelly-like interior encased in a tough membrane called the annulus. A herniated disc occurs when some nucleus pushes out through a tear or weak spot in the annulus. The annulus can tear due to a single excessive strain, or it may gradually wear out as you age. Most people with a herniated disc have no symptoms, but some experience lower back pain, numbness or tingling, and muscle weakness. Your specialist may recommend discectomy – a surgical procedure that removes the herniated disc portion to relieve irritation and nerve inflammation.
A spinal fracture is a break in the continuity of the vertebrae; it can occur anywhere along the spine. Most fractures are caused by injury or trauma from falls, car accidents, or high-velocity impacts. These injuries range from mild muscle and ligament strains to severe fractures and spine damage. The first step in treating a spinal fracture is stabilizing the individual; this may be done using a stretcher, backboard, or cervical collar to prevent movement and further injuries. Non-surgical treatments like cervical bracing, rest, and time may be enough to treat minor fractures. Your doctor may recommend surgery if you have an unstable fracture.
Back pain can be a complex issue, necessitating diagnosis and treatment from a professional team. If you have chronic lower back pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor at Spine Center Atlanta to discuss your treatment options.
It is important to note that surgery is not always necessary for back pain and should be considered only after all other treatment options have been exhausted. If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.