Back pain can be debilitating. Each move you make comes with pain and stress, and the pain medications don’t seem to help. If you’re looking at options for better treatment, you might be curious about the most common reasons doctors recommend back surgery. It’s definitely not for everyone, but in some cases, it is absolutely necessary. Find out why some people need back surgery.
In cases of scoliosis where the patient’s back is twisted or curved by 40 to 50 percent, doctors often recommend spinal fusion as the best scoliosis correction surgery. Surgeons weld the spine together in an aligned shape that allows the patient a better-quality life. Spine alignment surgery is also often necessary for individuals with flat-back syndrome and kyphosis.
A herniated disk occurs when the soft tissue between your bones bulges or leaks. Doctors recommend surgery if pain in the back and legs becomes unbearable or begins to lead to a pinched nerve and neurological problems. Surgeons use different types of fusion surgery to fix ruptured disks.
An overgrowth of bone in the back, often caused by arthritis, may result in bone spurs. Bone spurs are caps of excess bone that grow around joints. They narrow the amount of space between the bone and the nerve, causing pain. Laminectomy is a procedure to remove this excess bone and relieve nerve pressure.
A slipped disk occurs when a disk in the back moves out of alignment with the rest. It can cause stenosis. Stenosis is when the space between the bones in the spine narrows. Doctors recommend different types of spinal fusion when the pain becomes so bad that patients need medication to function.
Doctors recommend surgery for individuals with unstable spines as well. In addition to disk injuries, an unstable spine may be caused by a spinal fracture. As the most common type of back surgery, spinal fusion is recommended for fractures that won’t heal on their own and that result in excruciating pain to the back and legs.
The most common reasons doctors recommend back surgery include alleviating extreme pain for back injuries. Further, you may need surgery if progressive conditions are limiting your quality of life. The sooner you see a doctor for back pain, the sooner you’ll find relief.