When Do You Need Back Surgery?
Most of us are familiar with back pain of some kind. You bend over to pick something up or twist the wrong way, and the pain hits you like a baseball bat. Even though it hurts a lot, however, you usually get better in a few days by resting, using a heating pad or ice packs and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes your back pain doesn’t go away, though. It may have been getting worse for a long time, and you’re tired of suffering with it. You’ve probably tried a lot of things besides home treatment, like prescription medications, steroid injections and physical therapy, and you’re still not getting relief.
Physicians are reluctant to suggest back surgery unless it’s really necessary and nothing else helps. Any kind of surgery has risks associated with it; some risks associated with back surgery are:
· General surgical risks, such as reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, lung problems and blood clots.
· Problems with the surgery itself, like poor healing of bone grafts.
· Problems due to spinal nerve damage, like weakness and paralysis, urinary or fecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
· Poor surgical results. Back surgery doesn’t always relieve the pain, and some people even get “failed back surgery syndrome” with persistent pain.
· Problems due to scar tissue formation. As time goes by, scar tissue shrinks, and it can cause pressure on the spinal nerves and your back pain can come back.
There are some newer “minimally invasive” procedures using endoscopes. The surgeon inserts a small endoscope through a tiny incision. Using a microscopic camera, she can directly visualize the damage and repair it through the endoscope. Instead of cutting the muscles, she pushes them aside, which means there is less scarring after surgery. This is an exciting development because endoscopic surgery can be as effective as open back surgery, there are fewer complications, you’re in the hospital for a shorter time, and you recover faster.
With all of that said, however, there are times when you really do need back surgery. Your doctor may recommend it if:
· You’ve had back pain for six months or longer that is not getting better with other treatments.
· You have weakness in your arms or legs, trouble grasping things or numbness/tingling in your legs and feet.
· You have lost bladder or bowel control
· You have spinal instability.
· You have spinal deformity.
When you can’t manage the pain or when you’re having functional problems because the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves are being impaired—that’s when you need back surgery.
About the Author: David Betz is a consultant doing work for Laser Spine Surgery http://www.laserspineinstitute.com
Houston Web Site Design http://www.novatexsolutions.com
This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the guidance of a licensed physician if you need medical advice.
Back Surgery Resources
Back Surgery Alternative
Please make sure to get notified of all new comments via email by checking the box at the end of the ‘comment’ section.