Treatment of Back Pain

When Neck or Back Pain Surgery is a Necessity

Is neck or back pain surgery necessary? There is no clear yes or no answer to this question. It all varies from case to case. Surgery can be avoided if the pain subsides either by itself or with the help of pain relieving medication. However, there is no avoiding surgery if the pain subsists for too long (for a few months).

Back Pain- Its Underlying Cause

If back pain persists for too long then the underlying cause is not a sore muscle but spinal problems such as spinal stenosis or disc herniation. Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal which houses the spinal chord while disc herniation is a rupture of the intervertebral discs located between two spinal vertebrae bones.

These are the two most important underlying problems which determine the need to perform spinal surgery. Diagnosis of either of these conditions is done through nervous system indicators and through imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI or Myelography. Once the diagnosis proves that either of the two is present, a spine specialist can recommend spinal surgery.

Options Available for Spinal Surgery

There are four types of spinal surgeries: Discectomy, Foraminotomy, Laminectomy, and Spinal Fusion. Which particular surgery is to be performed depends upon the type of medical condition diagnosed. The four types of surgeries are detailed below:

Spinal Discectomy: This type of spinal surgery is performed if a person is diagnosed with herniated intervertebral discs. The objective of this surgery is to remove any physical abnormality in the gel-like intervertebral disc (which otherwise puts pressure on nerves coming out of the spinal chord).

Spinal Foraminotomy: Foraminotomy is performed if the nerves are too tightly fitted in the spinal canal. Surgeons operate upon the spinal canal and increase its size, thereby relieving the pressure of the spinal nerves.

Spinal Fusion: This type of surgery is performed is a person is diagnosed with a destabilized spine. This is usually the result of an injury to the spine. Surgeons correct this destability by correcting the alignment of the spinal vertebrae with the help of mechanical pieces such as plates, cages, rods, and screws. Bone grafting (from the patients bones as well as other sources) is also carried out to provide stability to the spine.

Spinal Laminectomy: In this surgical process, surgeons either remove an entire piece of lamina or remove a part of it. The objective is to relieve pressure off the spinal canal and the spinal nerves housed inside it. This type of surgical process is also used to treat other spinal complications such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal tumors.

Which particular surgery is meant for you?

The answer to this question lies with a medical spine specialist. He, and not a spine surgeon, is the most suitable person to assess your case and tell you when and which spinal surgery is required for you.