Back surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the United States. It is also one of the most complexes and can be a life-changing event for patients.
There are many different types of back surgery, but all surgeries in the lower back (lumbar spine) have one common goal: to relieve pain.
Back surgery is not a cure-all, but it can be a very effective treatment for many people who have chronic or severe back pain. Let’s discuss what lumbar spine surgery is, the different types of surgery, benefits, risks, and where you can go in Westlake and Avon if you think you may need lumbar spine surgery.
What Is Lumbar Spine Surgery and Who Should Consider It?
Lumbar spine surgery is an operation that is performed on the lower back or lumbar spine. This surgery is performed to relieve pain in the lower back, and its purpose may also include relieving radiating pain that is affecting the legs and/or hips.
It is usually performed as a last option after a patient has tried conservative pain management strategies, like physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, pain relief medication, and other noninvasive methods. Surgery is also typically only considered for people who have severe pain that limits their ability to function.
Types of Lumbar Spine Surgery
The most common type of lumbar spine surgery is decompression surgery. This surgery is performed to remove pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, which can cause pain. The surgeon will remove a portion of the bone (laminectomy) or disc (microdiscectomy) that is pressing on the spinal cord or nerves.
Lumbar fusion surgery is another common type of lumbar spine surgery. This operation is performed to join two or more vertebrae together, and the purpose is usually to stabilize the spine and relieve pain.
The surgeon will use bone grafts, metal rods, screws, and/or cages to enable the vertebrae to fuse together. The disc that is between the vertebrae which are being fused together (the disc is usually damaged) will be removed in order to facilitate the natural fusion healing process of the bone tissue.
Benefits of Low-Back Surgery
The main goal of lumbar spine surgery is to relieve pain, and this surgery can also improve function and quality of life. In some cases, low back surgery can even help to prevent further damage to the spine. For instance, lumbar fusion is often performed on those who have advanced stages of degenerative disc disease (DDD) in the low back, so that the vertebrae will no longer grind against each other as the discs in the spine wear away.
Risks of Lumbar Surgery
Lumbar spine surgery is a complex procedure with several potential risks and complications, including bleeding, infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. There is also a risk of re-injury of the area, or failure of the surgery to fulfill its purpose. It is important to discuss these risks with your back surgeon before having lumbar spine surgery.
Spine Surgery in Northeast Ohio
If you are experiencing severe or chronic pain in your lower back that is not relieved by conservative treatment methods, you may be an excellent candidate for lumbar spine surgery. It is important to discuss all of your options with your spine doctor before making a decision.
Here, Orthopedics Associates, our spine specialists are here to help you get your back. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff today at (440) 892-1440, or click here to fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to healing your lower back pain and improving your quality of life!