Although back pain usually goes away naturally, sometimes the discomfort continues and becomes a chronic condition. If nonsurgical options such as medication and physical therapy are unable to provide relief from the pain, back surgery may be recommended by your orthopedic doctor.
Back surgery can now be performed via minimally invasive methods and with much less risk to the patient than ever before. Let’s talk about some of the main types of back surgery that are performed today, and who you can talk to about finding lasting relief from your own back pain.
Common Back Surgery Procedures
Your doctor may recommend one of the procedures discussed here to resolve your back pain:
You may be experiencing back pain because your spinal cord is compressed by one of the vertebrae in your spine. A laminectomy is the removal of part of a vertebra that is causing the compression.
During this procedure, the doctor removes the back portion of the vertebra that is called the lamina. This process thereby allows more room for the spinal cord, alleviating pressure on the nerves.
As we get older, the cushiony discs between each set of two adjacent vertebrae can dry out and wear down. This disc degeneration may lead to a herniated or slipped disc. When this occurs, it can irritate nearby nerves and lead to pain. This discomfort may radiate down the arms and legs.
To alleviate this chronic pain, your doctor may perform an open discectomy or a microdiscectomy, wherein part or all of the affected disc is removed to reduce the pressure on your nerves. An open discectomy is the traditional approach, but a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that requires smaller incisions and enables faster healing.
Surgeons often recommend spinal fusion to address instability or weakness in the spine. It can also align the spine if there is a deformity or a severe injury.
During a spinal fusion, the surgeon usually first removes the disc that is between the vertebrae which are being fused together. The doctor then attaches metal plates or rods to help hold the bones together until they heal naturally. A bone graft from another part of your body, such as your hip, may also be utilized to help foster the bone tissue to fuse.
Spine Specialists in Central Maryland
Back surgery is recommended when conservative treatments are ineffective or not an option. Talk to an experienced spine surgeon to find out whether noninvasive or minimally invasive injection treatments may work to address your back pain, or whether you need to undergo surgery to reduce or eliminate your pain once and for all.
Our spine surgeons at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Spine Care are well-trained and experienced to analyze and treat your case. We can create a personalized treatment plan and recommend noninvasive or minimally invasive options that will work for you.
We have offices across Maryland for your convenience. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our easy-to-use online form. We look forward to helping you enjoy a more pain-free, active lifestyle once again!