As with any surgical procedure, back surgery isn’t an easy decision. But, there are times when it’s the best treatment option. If you’re considering surgery, here are some instances that may warrant it.
You’ve exhausted all other avenues of treatment.
In general, back pain alone does not mean surgery is necessary. Six weeks of trying non-surgical options, such as medication and physical therapy, is standard before considering surgery.
Low back pain occurs alone or can be associated with leg pain. Back pain associated with leg pain can be more concerning. The leg pain is key because it’s an indication that something is physically compressing the nerves as they exit the spine, such as a herniated disc. In this case, surgery may be necessary for relief because it will directly treat the cause of the pain.
Pain is debilitating.
People who do well with surgery are those who have met several criteria and are debilitated by their pain. If the pain is so extreme it’s affecting your daily activities, ability to function, relationships and job, surgery may be a good option.
Whatever you decide, learn all you can about your options. It’s critically important to understand the cause of the pain, the diagnosis, the procedure, what recovery is like and what your expectations should be. Surgery is not going to remove all pain in all patients all the time, but for most, when indicated, it can make a remarkable difference in improving the pain and their lives over all.
Click here for a list of spine surgeons on staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Frisco or call 1.800.4BAYLOR for a referral to a specialist.