If you’ve struggled with back pain for any length of time, you may be wondering if spine surgery is your only treatment option. Sometimes, surgery is the only treatment. However , majority of back problems can be remedied with non-surgical treatments—often referred to as non-surgical or conservative therapies.
Aging, improper body mechanics, trauma and structural abnormalities can injure your spine, leading to back pain and other symptoms such as leg pain and/or numbness or even leg weakness.
What about conservative treatment?
As with all non-emergency spinal surgeries, a trial of non-operative treatment, such as physical therapy, pain medication—preferably an anti-inflammatory, or bracing should be observed before surgery is considered. The trial period of conservative treatment varies, but six weeks to three months is the general timeframe.
Spine surgery may be recommended if non-surgical treatment such as medications and physical therapy fails to relieve symptoms. Surgery is only considered in cases where the exact source of pain can be determined—such as a herniated disc, scoliosis, or spinal stenosis.
Open surgery vs. minimally invasive surgery
Traditionally, spine surgery is usually performed as open surgery. This entails opening the operative site with a long incision so the surgeon can view and access the spinal anatomy. However, technology has advanced to the point where more spine conditions can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. As minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS), does not involve long incisions, open manipulation of the muscles and tissue surrounding the spine is avoided, therefore, leading to shorter operative time. In general, reducing intraoperative (during surgery) manipulation of soft tissues results in less postoperative pain and a faster recovery.
Not all patients are appropriate candidates for MISS procedures. There needs to be relative certainty that the same or better results can be achieved through MISS techniques as with an open procedure
Discectomy or Microdiscectomy: Removal of a herniated intervertebral disc. Therefore, removing pressure from the compressed nerve. Microdiscectomy is a MISS procedure.
Laminectomy: Removal of the thin bony plate on the back of the vertebra called the laminae to increase space within the spinal canal and relieve pressure.
Laminotomy: Removal of a portion of the vertebral arch (lamina) that covers the spinal cord. A laminotomy removes less bone than a laminectomy.Both laminectomy and laminotomy are decompression procedures. “Decompression” usually means tissue compressing a spinal nerve is removed.
Foraminotomy: Removal of bone or tissue at/in the passageway (called the neuroforamen) where nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and exit the spinal column.
Disc replacement: As an alternative to fusion, the injured disc is replaced with an artificial one.
Spinal fusion: A surgical technique used to join two vertebrae. Spinal fusion may include the use of bone graft with or without instrumentation (eg, rods, screws). There are different types of bone graft, such as your own bone (autograft) and donor bone (allograft). A fusion can be accomplished by different approaches
5 Common Myths about Spine Surgery Debunked” – Dr.Ashish Jain:
Spine Surgery can seem daunting for some, after all Spine is our body’s Central Support Structure. Our is spine is what keeps us upright and connects the different parts of our skeleton to each other – Our Head, Chest, Pelvis, Shoulders, Arms & our Legs.
And sometimes because of some Spinal Infections, Deformity, Trauma, Spine Tumours or some degenerative spine conditions, one may require a Spine Surgery.
When it comes to spine surgery, there are many misconceptions that prevent people from seeking the treatment they need. Misconceptions about spine surgery can be dangerous and may cause patients to avoid necessary medical care. This blog post aims to clear up some of the most common myths about spine surgery.
Myth 1: Spine surgery is always painful It’s a common misconception that spine surgery is always a painful experience. While it is true that any surgical procedure can cause some pain and discomfort, advances in surgical techniques, and anesthesia have made spinal surgeries much less painful than they used to be. Many patients report that the pain after the surgery is manageable and that the benefits of the procedure far outweigh any discomfort experienced.
Myth 2: Spine surgery is only for people with severe back pain Another common myth about spine surgery is that it is only for people with severe back pain. The truth is that spine surgery can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other degenerative conditions. Surgery is often a last resort, but when non-surgical treatments like physical therapy or medication are not effective, spine surgery can help alleviate pain and improve quality of life.
Myth 3: Spine surgery always requires a long hospital stay While some spine surgeries do require a long hospital stay, many can be performed on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay. This can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s overall health. However, advancements in surgical techniques and anesthesia have made it possible for many patients to return home the same day or within a few days after the procedure.
Myth 4: Spine surgery is always risky Like any surgical procedure, spine surgery does come with some risks. However, the risks associated with spine surgery are often overstated. Advancements in surgical techniques and technology have made the procedure safer than ever before. It’s important to remember that the benefits of spine surgery, such as pain relief and improved mobility, often outweigh the risks associated with the procedure.
Myth 5: Spine surgery is not effective Another common myth about spine surgery is that it’s not an effective treatment option. The truth is that spinal surgeries have a high success rate and can help alleviate pain and improve mobility. The effectiveness of spine surgery depends on several factors, including the patient’s overall health, the type of procedure, and the skill of the surgeon. When performed by a skilled surgeon and followed by post-operative rehabilitation, spine surgery can be a highly effective treatment option.
In conclusion, there are many myths surrounding spine surgery that may prevent patients from seeking the treatment they need. It’s important to separate fact from fiction and to seek out accurate information about the procedure. While spine surgery is not always the right option for everyone, it can be an effective treatment for many conditions. If you’re experiencing back pain or other symptoms, it’s essential to talk to a qualified medical professional to determine the best treatment plan for your needs. Don’t let misconceptions prevent you from getting the care you need.