Although back surgery may relieve some causes of back pain, it is only necessary in rare situations. The majority of individuals who suffer from back pain will notice it diminishes on its own within a few months. Back pain can also be resolved with conservative treatments such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications.
Back surgery is typically only an option if non-invasive treatments haven’t worked and a clear structured cause can be found. It usually relieves the numbness or pain that radiates down one or both legs or arms.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES BACK SURGERY TREAT?
The most common condition that back surgery treats is nerve pain that comes from ruptured discs. It can relieve tingling, numbness, or pain you may experience throughout your body that prevents you from your daily activities. Back surgery can also treat infections of the spine, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors, and a loss of bladder control.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING BACK SURGERY?
There are a number of different types of back surgeries. If back surgery does make sense, you and your doctor will decide which type is ideal for your situation. The most common types of back surgeries include:
- Discectomy. A discectomy involves removing herniated disk material in order to relieve it from inflaming and irritating the nerve.
- Laminectomy. Intended to relieve nerve pressure triggered by spinal stenosis, a laminectomy removes the bone that is overlying the spinal canal .
- Spinal fusion. A spinal fusion helps alleviate pain by stabilizing the spinal fracture. It is performed by connecting at least two bones in your spine.
- Artificial discs. As an alternative treatment to a spinal fusion, artificial disks may be implanted to help with pain that is caused by a degenerated disk.
- Kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasties are performed to attempt to eliminate pain that is caused by compression fractures of the spine. In this procedure, broken bones are stabilized with a cement like substance.
General anesthesia that ensures you will be asleep for the entire surgery is usually used in most back surgeries.
HOW WILL I RECOVER FROM BACK SURGERY?
When you wake up from back surgery, you will likely experience some discomfort. Pain varies from patient to patient but can be controlled through various medications. If you are in pain, inform your medical team so that your medication can be adjusted.
For the rest of the day, you will be monitored by medical professionals to help you control your pain and ensure there have been no complications. You will then be able to go home on the same day of the surgery or within a few days. Your surgery care team will educate you on how to recover in the safest way possible.
While most back surgery patients do not need professional support for rehabilitation, some may need physical therapy and additional motivation and coaching. Your surgeon will also inform you on whether or not you need a back brace post surgery.
WHO PERFORMS BACK SURGERY?
In many hospital environments, back surgery is performed by general surgeons. However, in spine and pain clinics such as Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, back surgery is done by qualified surgeons who specialize in spine surgeries.
When you choose Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists for your back surgery, you can expect the highest quality of care from surgeons who have years of experience assisting patients with back issues. We are conveniently located in the Unifour area, making it easy for you to receive exceptional care without traveling to larger cities. In addition, at Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists:
- We do not require an MRI before you make an appointment.
- All back surgeries are performed at a number of different hospitals in the Unifour area to save you the inconvenience of traveling a long distance.
- The following hospitals are available for back surgery: Frye Regional Medical Center & Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, Caldwell UNC Healthcare in Lenoir, and Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton.