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Back Surgery Benefits, Types and Risks

sciatica treatment traction

Back Surgery: Types, Benefits and Potential Risks


Most common types of back surgery are:

  • Spinal fusion, which is the most common operation for backache, when a doctor joins backbones aka vertebral column, together. Alternative option to spinal fusion is the implant of a U-shaped device.
  • Laminectomy is a procedure when a surgical specialist takes out parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the vertebral.
  • Foraminotomy is the procedure when surgeon cuts away bone at the sides of vertebrae to extend the space where the nerve endings are located in the back.
  • Discectomy may be part of a bigger surgical procedure that includes previously mentioned: spinal fusion, laminectomy or Foraminotomy. This treatment required when slipped or bulging spinal disc squeezed or pin on a vertebral nerve and originating back pain. In this surgery (discectomy) the surgeon doctor gets rid of all or part of the damaged disc.
  • Disc Replacement – when surgeon remove aching spinal disc and inserts an artificial disc replacement instead.


This is a common question people ask their doctor after fruitless attempts to cure their back pain. Since back pain is something most people suffer from at some point of their life, it is prudent to acquire sufficient information about the ailment if you are a person concerned about your health you’re your family consist of old age members or someone who has to work for long hours, the sooner you solve the mystery of back pain illness the better you can guard your family health. Generally, the cause of back pain is related to soft tissue inflammation, degenerative arthritis or degenerative arthritis.


In such a case, you need not worry. The regular treatments which comprise stretches, anti-inflammation medicines or therapies might very well do the job and set you free from the pain. Osteopathy therapy can also be useful under the circumstance; it involves a drug free, non-invasive medicine consumption to strengthen the joints, muscles and spine and therefore relieves the back pain.  OMM (Osteopathic Manual Medicine) focuses on avoiding the harm done by the conservative form of treatment and promotes curing by utilizing bodies self healing abilities. It is considered as a holistic approach to health. Holistic approaches have proved as successful specially in promoting women’s health, for it has no side effects and is very effective against back pain.


What to do if the pain persists


It is also witnessed that physical modes of healing the pain, such as hot or cold massage and acupuncture have significant potential to ease the pain and restore health. You might not need to pay several visits to your doctor in case this works. But the symptom of back pain can have a more complex cause than that, if the symptom includes loss of bowel or trouble controlling bladder, you definitely should seek immediate medical attention. Surgery is required to release any pressure on the nerves and the normal body functioning can be restored.

Reckless attitude and ignoring these symptoms can cause a permanent damage to your organs so better use preventive medicine in time. Another symptom which require immediate response on your part, this is treatment, is muscle weakness in the legs or feet. Disregard to such might result in falls or fractures and can cause severe injuries.


When Is Spinal Surgery the Best Option?


As a conventional back pain treatment approach, specialists typically try first prescribing painkillers, physiotherapy procedures or shoot up corticosteroids along with lidocaine to reduce inflammation in the spinal nerves. Patients who get sufficient relief from these therapies and able to increase physical activity might be able to avoid surgery. For numerous patients, unfortunately, such actions don’t deliver a long-term solution and they need surgery to cure their spinal problems.

Success Rates for Spinal Surgery. Studies indicate that the patient’s pain is improved 60% to 70% after spinal surgery and approximately 80% of patients undergoing back surgery are satisfied with the surgical result. But this is a serious surgical procedure in any way, and you should think about and ask for second opinion.

It is found that a neurological and structural exam in addition to an X-Ray of your spine can result in the correct diagnosis of the issue most of the time. Although many contradictory beliefs do exist invalidating the idea, but no harm in undergoing the spine analysis before going for a surgery or long medicinal course and later discovering the actual cause. A thorough inspection of the spine discs and the cord by MRI studies could prove the course of action to eliminate the root cause of the problem, although in most cases conservative treatment of back pain is inescapable.

If your case seems to require surgery then certainly go for it. Correct diagnosis and timely treatment can prevent the worsening of pain.


Some inconspicuous causes of Low Back Pain

  • Degenerative Discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic structural imbalance
  • Old trauma having caused wear and tear to the spine
  • Sports
  • Obesity
  • Discs, bulging or protruding backwards


Old age invites many troubles; low back pain could be one of those. Crossing 50 years of age, the body undergoes several changes, it may acquire bone spurs and the discs may lose height. It may not cause pain unless the nerve root bulges out of the spinal cord or the cord is squeezed, in which case, surgery may fail as well.  Osteopathy is becoming popular with effective treatments over time. Osteopathic manipulation therapy could be used to treat sciatica, a type of low back pain which radiates down through the thighs up to the feet and causes tingling or numbness.  Unfortunately, surgery is not always the right course of action to treat back pain, as it may result in complications. Even if you consider surgery as the last resort, it is better to take a second opinion before going down that road.


The highest potential threat of spinal surgery in any kind is not gaining blameless relief from backache after the surgical procedure. Regrettably, this risk is almost impossible to calculate or evade. You have to discuss it openly with your doctor, who can provide info what to expect from spinal surgical treatment.


Consider an MRI if surgery is likely.  Certainly if there is no improvement in your symptoms after several weeks or there is worsening of your pain.

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