Although spine surgery is often a last resort when it comes to treating most types of back and neck pain, patients can take comfort knowing there have been many advances in spine surgery over the years, including new, minimally invasive spinal surgery options, which are designed to reduce patient risk when compared to traditional types of spine procedures.
As with any type of surgery, there are risks and factors that all patients should consider before making the decision to proceed with a surgical spine treatment.
Has your doctor found the source of your back pain?
If the source of your back pain hasn’t been identified yet, you may want to hold off on spine surgery until further tests can be done. Consider opting for multiple tests or even a second opinion to ensure that your condition has been fully and properly evaluated.
Have you considered all non-surgical options?
Before opting for surgery, make sure that you’re aware of all non-surgical options available to address your particular spine problem. Have you considered some alternative treatments like acupuncture? How about physical therapy? Most of the time, the worst that can happen is that the treatment simply won’t be effective.
How likely is it that surgery will be successful with your particular back problem?
Surgery for conditions like herniated discs or a narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis) tend to be among the most successful spine surgeries. Degenerative conditions related to age, don’t usually respond well to surgery and will need to be discussed on a patient by patient basis.
Keep In Mind…
There is no guarantee that spine surgery will bring complete relief from your back pain. It is important to set realistic expectations with your spinal surgeon, asking as many questions as possible so that you understand your risks and the possible outcomes. Only when you have all the information should you weigh your treatment options, taking as much time as you need to confidently make a decision.
For more information about a current condition, treatment options or for a second opinion, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae is the center’s Medical Director, and specializes in minimally invasive and non-fusion surgery options such as artificial disc replacement, which can provide patients with additional range of motion and fewer risks. Call 310-828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation today.