Back pain surgery helps people regain their lifestyles and function without pain. However, surgery isn’t for everyone. Plus, many myths surround this multi-faceted procedure. Let the experts from Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery dispel the myths and give you actual facts to consider.
Back Pain Is a Real Problem
Have you ever wondered what neurosurgeons most often treat? The answer is back pain – specifically in the lower or lumbar, region of the back. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 28% of American men and almost 32% of American women have reported lower back pain to their physicians over the past year.
Typically, the pain is chronic, stemming from an old injury, repetitive motions at work, or degenerative processes such as disc disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Other people have congenital malformations, such as scoliosis.
In general, back pain presents with these all-too-familiar symptoms:
- Stabbing, shooting pain
- Stiffness and loss of range of motion
- Numbness and tingling in the lower extremities
- Trouble with bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty walking, sitting, lifting, and twisting
Back pain can come and go, and many patients report relief from symptoms when they get up and move. However, this is not the best option for everyone. In short, back pain is highly individualized and requires expert evaluation for proper treatment.
Do I Need Surgery to Relieve My Back Pain?
After careful evaluation of your symptoms and a comprehensive physical examination, your neurosurgeon can help you decide on treatment. Surgery is usually the last choice. Less invasive interventions, such as epidural injections, analgesics, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and more, often provide relief and may correct the underlying cause.
What Kinds of Back Pain Surgery Are There?
Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery offers the latest techniques in back pain surgery. Here are some of them:
- Lumbar laminectomy, which removes the covering on the spinal cord to lessen tension and friction on associated structures
- Lumbar spinal fusion, which stabilizes vertebrae with bone grafts
- Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, which repair fractured vertebrae with bone cement
- Discectomy and microdiscectomy (a small incision procedure), which repair ruptured intervertebral discs
Myths and Facts About Back Surgery
Myth One: You must have surgery to relieve back pain.
This is not true. Home treatments, such as simple rest, ice therapy, and over-the-counter analgesics can work wonders. People who have proper body weight and are in general good health typically recover well. However, when back pain continues unabated or you cannot walk or stand, seek medical treatment. Even then, there are many nonsurgical treatments that can help.
Myth Two: If you have one back surgery, you will likely need more.
Fortunately, this generalization is false. Back surgeries of all kinds feature high success rates and are typically one-and-done procedures. The goal of any back surgery is to make improvements, so you don’t need additional treatment.
Myth Three: All back incisions involve elaborate interior hardware, large incisions, and long hospital stays.
This myth is dispelled by today’s small incision techniques that utilize fine surgical instruments. Many procedures are performed on an outpatient or limited hospital stay basis, with patients doing most of their recovery and rehabilitation at home.
Myth Four: Even after surgery, patients often still have long-term pain.
If back surgery didn’t deliver great results, surgeons would not recommend the procedures in the first place. The truth is, most back surgeries work well, particularly if patients stick with their recovery plans and eliminate detrimental lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking.
Visit Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery for Back Pain Treatment in Lone Tree, CO
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we understand how detrimental back pain can be to your well-being and quality of life. Our highly qualified neurosurgeons and their team help scores of back pain patients in the area. We’ll give you the story straight on back pain treatments, including surgical options.
For a consultation with our neurosurgeons, Dr. Michael Rauzzino or Dr. Kevin Boyer, call us at (303) 790-1800, or request an appointment online. We have locations in Lone Tree and Parker, CO.