Spine surgery can help to greatly reduce or eliminate your back pain. It can also be performed to address referred pain in another part of your body that is being caused in the spinal cord.
While most people automatically assume that spine surgery is a major procedure, you may be surprised to know that it might not be as serious as you thought. Let’s talk about what you can expect from back surgery, and where you can go for a medical evaluation and recommendations to finally achieve pain relief.
Type of Back Surgery
The main factor in determining the potential severity of spine surgery is what exactly is being performed on your spine. For instance, a spinal fusion is more serious than repairing or replacing a damaged disc.
In a spinal fusion, your surgeon will remove the disc that is in between the two adjacent vertebrae that are causing pain. The surgeon then inserts bio-grade material into the space where the disc was, and the doctor then fastens metal screws, plates, and/or rods to connect the vertebrae to enable them to heal and fuse together naturally. This is often done today via minimally invasive back surgery.
In a disc replacement, the surgeon removes your herniated or ruptured disc and replaces it with a prosthetic disc. This is usually a minimally invasive spine surgery, so it can be done in an outpatient setting.
Another type of back surgery is vertebroplasty, in which your surgeon injects a medical-grade cement into a fractured vertebra to fill in and seal the break. This is also usually an outpatient procedure.
Possible Complications from Spine Surgery
As with any type of surgery, you will have a risk of developing an infection. Your spine surgeon will take every precaution necessary to reduce your risk.
In spine surgery, in particular, there is the possibility of suffering nerve damage. The spinal cord hosts the main nerve center in your body, and there are many nerves in the area which can become damaged during the procedure.
Nerve issues may cause symptoms of numbness, weakness, or tingling. If the procedure was on your lower back, these symptoms could extend downward into your legs; if your spine surgery was on your upper back, these same symptoms could radiate into your arms.
Another potential complication of surgery is excessive bleeding. If you are taking blood thinners to help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot, then your surgeon will likely ask you to discontinue them for a brief amount of time before the surgery in order to avoid too much bleeding during your spine surgery.
Orthopedic Spine Surgeons in Lone Tree, Colorado
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, or if you have ongoing numbness that is becoming bothersome and debilitating, it is in your best interest to have an evaluation by an experienced spine surgeon. The doctor will first give you a medical assessment and then discuss your options with you, so you can make an informed decision for your optimum health and quality of life.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our outstanding back surgeons here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (303) 790-1800 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle once again!