Back pain is one of the most common complaints heard by physicians as it affects nearly 1 out of every 2.5 adults. Spine surgeon looks for firsthand the impact that a spinal injury can have on an individual and the countless activities they give up because of their pain. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 90% of our patients can be treated non-operative with physical therapy, spinal injections, medication management, or a combination of these treatment options. We’ve put together the top 3 reasons a patient may need surgical intervention to treat his or her back or neck pain.
TOP 3 REASONS TO HAVE SPINAL SURGERY
1. TO TAKE PRESSURE OFF your NERVES
Some conditions, including a disc herniation or spinal stenosis, compress the nerves within the spinal column which can lead to tingling, pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and other more severe symptoms. Spine surgery is typically required with this condition to avoid lifelong impairment. This can be accomplished through surgeries like a ALIF, laminectomy, or XLIF.
2. TO STABILIZE AN UNSTABLE SPINE
An unstable spine is defined as lack of ability of the spinal column to maintain its natural form under normal usage conditions. A healthy spine provides protection, structure and support for the body, but an unstable spine can no longer hold together the spinal ligaments, muscles, disc and bones in such a way to provide these essential functions. We see unstable spine in a lot of conditions including spinal fractures, spondylolisthesis, and even sometimes an extreme disc injury. Surgery is often needed if symptoms progress to unbearable back pain, leg pain, or significant neurological problems from a pinched nerve. This is best achieved by fusing the unstable parts of the spine through an ALIF, PLIF, or Lateral Inter-body Fusion.
3. TO REALIGN A CROOKED SPINE
Some conditions affect the natural curvature of the spine and result in several impairments. Scoliosis and kyphosis can be managed non-operatively through bracing and physical therapy, but in instances in which the spinal curvature crosses a certain degree, surgical intervention is required to realign the spine. The same condition goes for flat-back syndrome if symptoms are not relieved through non-operative measures.