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Lower Back Pain Surgery

Home 9 Lower Back Pain Surgery

Lower Back Pain Surgery

Lower back surgery is usually performed due to chronic pain or immobility, often caused by trapped or pinched nerves. It is usually only performed after intensive non-surgical treatment such as physical therapy. It is generally a last resort chosen by the patient and medical team because of intense pain, discomfort or immobility that has not responded adequately to other treatment methods.

Non-surgical treatment methods are usually recommended if the patient can still move, complete daily tasks, work and sleep with relative comfort and if pain levels are manageable. Surgery is also not generally recommended for back pain that has lasted less than six to twelve weeks.

Surgery may also not be an option if the cause of the pain is not identifiable through imaging tests. It’s also important to consider the post-operative recovery process and timeframe as opposed to non-surgical intervention.

Some lower back surgeries are more invasive than others and require longer recovery periods and inpatient stays. Modern surgical methods mean that some forms of lower back surgery can now be performed on an outpatient basis with shorter recovery periods.

lower back pain

Benefits of Surgery

Surgery for lower back pain can The Health Store Turkey provide a range of benefits:

-Improved mobility
-Significantly reduced or eliminated pain
-Improved physical fitness
-Better mental health
-Less discomfort doing work, sleeping or performing other activities
-Better productivity and higher energy levels
-Reduced or eliminated the need for pain medication

A full assessment and consultation will be carried out in advance of surgery in order to make sure it is the right option for the patient and that it will have the desired impact.

Risks

Lower back surgery is reliable and safe when carried out by experienced professionals. However, it is associated with some minor risks which occur in a small percentage of cases. These include:

-Nerve damage
-Herniated disk
-Reaction to anaesthesia
-Blood clots
-Infection

Some health conditions increase the risks of certain complications, so make sure to inform your doctor of any you may have during your initial consultations. Your doctor will carry out a full assessment of risks and will provide all relevant information.

Methods

There are several methods of lower back surgery. Medical and technological advances mean that there are reliable options to deal with various forms of lower back or spinal problems.

Fusion

Fusion surgery involves the removal of soft tissue from between two or more adjacent vertebral bones. The tissue is replaced with bone or metal. This allows the bones to fuse together over a period of time, usually between six and twelve months. The vertebrae form into one long bone, stabilizing the spine and reducing motion in the fused sections of the spine.

Spinal fusion surgery can be performed using the posterior, lateral or anterior approach, or a combination of the three. Modern surgical methods have made spinal fusion surgery more predictable and easier to recover from, enabling a shorter recovery period and a swifter return to regular activities.

Fusion surgery can be used to treat a range of conditions, including spondylolisthesis, fracture, instability, deformity, degenerative disc disease and stenosis. Tumours and infections in the back can also be treated using fusion surgery, but this is rare.

Spinal fusion is the most common option for chronic, nonspecific back pain that is severely impacting the patient’s health and mobility. Vertebrae are fused together, reducing movement between them. Fusion surgery does not generally limit activity or the ability to perform ordinary tasks. It is possible that the vertebrae do not fully fuse, which may mean another operation is required.

Fusion surgery may require an overnight stay in the hospital, followed by a slow and gradual return to regular activities. While the fusion sets, there may be restrictions on activities and specific movements for as long as one year.

Laminectomy

Laminectomy is also known as a decompression surgery. It is used to reduce or remove pressure on nerve roots in the spinal column. Pressure can be put on nerve roots by bone spurs, herniated discs or soft tissue. It is often performed on patients dealing with pain or weakness in the back or legs due to spinal stenosis. Stenosis can be caused by changes or damage to the joints, discs, bones or spurs of the back.

Laminectomy can be performed using an open method or a minimally invasive method. Your surgeon will discuss your options. In some cases, a laminectomy can make the spine less stable, meaning spinal fusion may also be performed. This requires a longer recovery period.

The minimally invasive procedure is not an option for everyone. It uses small incisions and can usually be performed on an outpatient basis. There is usually minimal discomfort in recovery from a minimally-invasive procedure and the patient can return to work and regular activities more quickly.

Interlaminar Implant

An interlaminar implant is a minimally-invasive alternative to laminectomy or laminectomy combined with fusion. A device is implanted between the two relevant vertebrae. This helps to maintain space between them and reduces pressure on the surrounding nerves. It can be done in combination with or as an alternative to laminectomy. Unlike fusion, an interlaminar implant provides stability and does not impact mobility in the spinal area.

Discectomy

Discs are the cushions that separate the vertebrae from one another. If a disc slips out of place, it can press on a spinal nerve, causing back pain and reduced mobility. Discectomy involves the removal of all or part of the disc which is causing a problem.  It has become the most common surgical procedure for disc herniation. It may be performed as part of a larger surgery alongside laminectomy, foraminotomy, or spinal fusion.

Discectomy can be performed using the open technique or the non-invasive method. The non-invasive option is called a microdiscectomy and is performed using a microscope inserted through a smaller incision than is required for a standard discectomy. It usually does not require an inpatient stay and the main recovery period is usually only around one week. There will still be some restrictions placed on particular activities and movements, however.

Disc Replacement

In some cases, a damaged disc or one that is causing pain or immobility can be replaced with an artificial one. Unlike spinal fusion, disc replacement does not have any impact on spinal mobility. It also requires a shorter recovery time. There is a slight risk that the artificial disc may slip out of place, in which case a procedure will be required to put it back in place. Disc replacement is a relatively new procedure that is becoming increasingly common. It requires a shorter recovery period than some of the alternative procedures.

Foraminotomy

Foraminotomy is a procedure to relieve pain and immobility caused by compressed nerves in the spine. The bone at the side of the vertebrae is cut away in order to widen the space where nerves exit the spine. The extra space created relieves pressure on the nerves and reduces pain. Foraminotomy can also make the spine less stable, in which case spinal fusion may be performed alongside it or subsequently. If this is the case, more recovery time will be required.

There may be other treatment options for your condition. Your surgeon will carry out a full assessment and will discuss your options.

Recovery

Your recovery from lower back surgery will depend on various factors, including the surgical method, your condition before surgery and any other medical conditions you may have. A rest period is usually prescribed so you will be advised to take some weeks or even a month or more off work to avoid excessive pressure on or exertion of the spine.

Physical therapy will be recommended to gradually rebuild physical strength and increase your range of motion. Your surgeon may recommend painkillers or muscle relaxants to support healing and manage pain during the recovery period. Some patients also use a back brace, specially designed beds, shower stools or supportive pillows during their recovery to facilitate an easier recovery.

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