Lumbar Spine &
The low back is the most common area of back pain. There are many possible causes, including muscle, nerve, and spine injuries, as well as arthritis, "wear and tear" conditions of aging, and poor posture. Let the spine surgeon and interventional spine specialists at the spine academy of Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) help you overcome your low back pain through both surgical and nonsurgical leading-edge treatments.
What Could Be Causing My Low Back Pain?
About the Lumbar Spine and Sacroiliac Joint
The lumbar spine is composed of five large bones called vertebrae. It is located in your lower back, just below your waistline. The lumbar spine provides back stability and movement. Just below the lumbar spine is the sacroiliac (SI) joint, which is made up of five vertebrae that are fused together and do not move. The SI joint connects the spine to the pelvis.
Low back pain is caused by abnormalities in the soft tissues, nerves, discs, or vertebrae of the lumbar spine or SI joint. Strain from overexertion, poor posture, lifting activities, physical stress, or injury can contribute to low back muscle spasms, pinched nerves, or tightening of the lower back muscles.
Symptoms of lumbar spine problems include:
- Sciatica (pain that spreads to the buttocks, legs, and feet)
- Back stiffness
- Back movement limitations
- Numbness or tingling weakness
Low Back Pain Treatment
Our expert orthopedic surgeon is experienced in the following state-of-the-art lumbar spine surgeries to help alleviate low back pain and correct low back problems:
Artificial lumbar disc replacement can be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery (ACDF) for people with degenerative lumbar disc disease. Unlike spinal fusion, a lumbar disc replacement allows more natural motion of the spine, return to natural disc height, and near-normal stress absorption in the spine.
The goal of the procedure is to relieve pain and maintain motion, reduce further degeneration in the spine, and help you return to your activities quickly. There are several types of artificial lumbar discs, and your spine surgeon will discuss the most appropriate one for you.
Microsurgical decompression, also called microdiscectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical method to treat a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Making a small incision on your back above the affected disc, our spine surgeon will remove a small part of the bone over the nerve root and the part of the disc that is compressing the spinal nerves.
This procedure is considered the gold standard for treating a herniated disc. It is especially effective at relieving the symptoms of leg pain from sciatica.
Our spine surgeon performs a number of minimally invasive spine fusion approaches to treat lumbar discs and the sacroiliac joint:
- Posterior and transforaminal lumbar fusion
- Trans-sacral stabilization
- Far-lateral stabilization
- Sacroiliac (SI joint) stabilization
The surgical approaches may be used to treat low back conditions such as herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis. During spinal fusion, the affected discs or SI joints are stabilized by fusing them together using bone grafts, screws, and rods.
This alternative to traditional spinal fusion utilizes a brace-like device instead of rods and screws to achieve stability in the affected discs while the fusion heals. The device allows controlled movement of the discs – more movement than with a traditional fusion. This procedure is typically used to treat spondylolisthesis or degenerative disc disease.
This surgical approach to spinal fusion involves accessing the affected discs through an incision in the abdomen. Our spine surgeon may recommend this procedure if you have had prior surgery through a posterior approach (incision in the back), if multiple discs are being fused, or if he needs more direct access to the disc.
This minimally invasive procedure is the preferred treatment for a vertebral compression fracture that often results from osteoporosis. Using X-ray guidance, our spine surgeon will insert a hollow needle into the affected vertebra. A tiny balloon device is then inserted through the needle and inflated inside the vertebra to restore its height and shape. The balloon is withdrawn and bone cement is injected to strengthen the vertebra.
Our spine surgeons also treat patients with spine fractures and dislocations in the low back, which most often occur due to an auto accident, sports-related injury, or fall.