The majority of lower back pain is treatable without surgery. Surgery does not always relieve pain; studies show that 20-40% of back surgeries fail. Back surgery can help alleviate some causes of back pain, but it is rarely required. Most back pains go away on their own within three months. One of the most common illnesses seen by Garden State pain control doctors is low back pain. Non-surgical treatments for back pain, such as anti-inflammatory medications, heat, and physical therapy, are usually effective.
Is back surgery necessary?
If conservative treatments have failed and your pain is persistent and incapacitating, back surgery may be an option. Back surgery frequently relieves associated pain or numbness that travels down one or both arms or legs more predictably. Compressed nerves in your spine are often the source of these symptoms. Nerve compression can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Problems with the disk. Ruptured or herniated disks — the rubbery cushions that separate your spine’s bones — can sometimes press too tightly against a spinal nerve, impairing its function.
- Bone enlargement. Bone spurs on your spine can be caused by osteoarthritis. This extra bone most commonly affects the hinge joints at the back of the spinal column and can reduce the amount of space available for nerves to pass through openings in your spine.
Even if your X-rays reveal that you have disk problems or bone spurs, determining the exact cause of your back pain can be difficult. X-rays taken for other reasons frequently show bulging or herniated disks that do not cause symptoms or require treatment.
When do you require back surgery?
If non-surgical therapies fail or experience severe pain or a spine-related medical emergency, you may require minimally invasive or traditional open surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery, which employs small incisions and tools to treat mild to moderate spine conditions, can successfully stabilize your spine while also addressing the source of your pain. It also reduces the likelihood of infection and the length of recovery time.
Considerations for anesthesia during surgery
Local anesthetic is always used for back surgery. There are risks involved with the patient lying face down on the surgical table, in addition to the usual risks. This position alters the hemodynamics of the body or how blood flows through it. The position also restricts the surgical team’s ability to access the patient’s airway. This necessitates extra caution in the placement of equipment, monitors, the patient, and the anesthesiologist. It is critical to have a physician anesthesiologist in the operating room to ensure that everything is appropriately set up and to be able to take urgent action if anything bad happens.
Risks harm of taking steroids of back surgery
Because it is performed closer to the nervous system, back surgery carries a higher risk than other types of surgery. Paralysis and infections are among the most serious of these dangers. Even if the surgery is successful, the recovery period can be long. Recovery time can vary depending on the type of surgery and your pre-surgery condition. You may also lose some flexibility in the long term.
Not all back conditions can be treated surgically. However, if you require back surgery, call Garden State Pain & Orthopedics or make an appointment online to learn more.