Surgery is no walk in the park, and it is often saved as a last-resort treatment for good reason. When it comes to back surgery, you can expect a hospital stay and a long recovery ahead. There are also risks associated with surgery, such as infection, procedure failure, and other complications. That is why it is important to carefully consider all treatment options before deciding on pursuing surgery.
However, when it is necessary, back surgery shouldn’t be avoided. Back procedures can fix many issues that cannot be fully addressed otherwise and bring patients much-needed relief.
Here’s when you should consider back surgery:
1. Disc Issues
The rubbery cushions in between your spinal bones are called discs. A herniation happens when one or more discs bulge out.
The bulging is usually caused by the spinal disc walls stiffening and splitting open. When that occurs, soft, gelatinous material flows outward and collides with nearby nerves.
Patients experience pain because the discs tend to press onto the nerves. A back surgery called a discectomy can help relieve symptoms effectively.
Doctors also recommend discectomy for people with sciatica. This condition develops when the radiating pain reaches the buttock, thighs, and the back of the legs and calves.
2. Bone Overgrowth
An overgrowth of a bone is called a spur and usually results from osteoarthritis.
Spinal bone spurs exert significant pressure on the spinal cord and cause pain. That is because the excess material blocks the nerve pathways throughout the spine.
Back surgery may help correct the overgrowth and allow nerves to pass through the spine openings freely.
3. Spinal Stenosis
Older patients are more likely to get diagnosed with spinal stenosis. This is a degenerative condition that indicates the narrowing of the protective, bony space around the spinal cord, resulting in pain.
The condition’s symptoms involve aching when standing, sitting, and leaning back. Pain in other body parts, such as the upper thigh, buttock, and groin, also indicates it.
Spinal stenosis is usually also caused by other issues like bone spurs and herniated discs. That is because they can alter the spaces in the spine and cause unnecessary pressure on nerves. The result is debilitating pain that may require back surgery.
Laminectomy is the prescribed surgery for spinal stenosis. Your surgeon will take out the bony plate or lamina of the back part of the vertebrae to alleviate pain. Most patients experience relief after it.
4. Other Symptoms
Sudden, unexplained discomfort in the back and other body parts may also indicate a need for back surgery. These include:
- Numbness or weakness in the arms and legs
- Loss of bladder control due to back pain
- High fever with back pain
- Difficulty using or moving your hands or legs
Other spine abnormalities are also signs that you may need back surgery. It’s time to consider consulting surgery if you have the following:
- A tumor or unexplained growth on your spinal cord
- A dislocated or fractured bone in your back
Back Surgery In Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, & Royal Oak, MI
People who experience back pain due to disc issues, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and other abnormalities should consider surgery. You may need it if the pain is too excruciating to manage using painkillers, dietary changes, and physical therapy. Operations like discectomy and laminectomy may help alleviate intense back discomfort. Be sure to consult a trusted and skilled surgeon to help you move forward with your plans for back surgery.
Ahlgren Spine is ready to care for patients with back issues and spinal conditions. Dr. Bradley Ahlgren heads our talented team. He is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon. We offer top-notch solutions for back issues, like herniated discs and spinal stenosis, using thoracic spine treatments, sacroiliac injections, and microdiscectomies.
Dr. Ahlgren works with a dedicated team of physician assistants who specialize in orthopedic surgery of the spine. Together, they offer only the best care for patients. For any questions, call us at (248) 215-8080. You may also use our online request form to book an appointment with the best back pain doctor near you.