Low back pain (LBP) is a common cause of disability, leading to lost productivity worldwide. It can range from mild and self-resolving to severe and chronic. It is the leading cause of Years Lived with Disability. (YLD) That is precisely why Low back pain deserves urgent and proper attention. Mitigating this increasing burden trend is necessary to facilitate its negative impact on society and the healthcare system.
Various causes of low back pain problems exist today. Yet among sundry reasons, one most common form that people worldwide experience is that medical professionals can not pinpoint a clear treatable cause.
Also called Non-Specific Low back pain or NSLBP is a type of low back pain that is complex, and as of today, there are no adequate management options.
Fortunately for the rest, various treatments are available to help alleviate low back pain. These include any option, from non-surgical measures such as medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications to surgical interventions for more severe cases.
Spinal surgery can alleviate radicular pain and disability resulting from neural compression or where back pain relates to cancer, infection, or gross instability.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), several conditions may require surgical treatment. These include herniated or ruptured disks, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vertebral fractures, degenerative disk disease, or damage to spinal disks as people age. It is essential to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these conditions, as they may be possible candidates for surgical treatment.
Regarding low back pain, there are various surgical options to consider. But before you make any decisions, it’s essential to understand the risks and benefits of each procedure. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has listed the following spine surgery options for low back pain. Still, it warns that there is a limited indication of which procedures work best for their particular symptoms.
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are procedures used to repair compression fractures of the vertebrae usually caused by osteoporosis. During these procedures, glue-like bone cement is injected into the vertebrae, which hardens and strengthens the bone.
Another option is a spinal laminectomy, also known as spinal decompression. That is performed when spinal stenosis results in a narrowing of the spinal canal, causing pain, numbness, or weakness. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the bony walls of the vertebrae and any bone outgrowths to open up the spinal column and release pressure on the nerves.
Lastly, a discectomy is a procedure used to remove a disk when it has herniated and puts pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord. A laminectomy and discectomy are often performed together.
Each of these procedures comes with its own set of risks and potential benefits. Before deciding which course of action to take, discussing the pros and cons with your doctor is essential. They can advise whence. Still, it warns which spine surgery option is most appropriate for your case.
Are you feeling pain in your lower back? Are you considering spine surgery as a potential option to eliminate the pain? If so, you may want to consider two types of spine surgery: foraminotomy and nucleoplasty.
Foraminotomy is when the surgeon expands the bony hole where a nerve root exits the spinal canal. The procedure is intended to help avoid bulging disks or joints thickened with age from compressing the nerve. This can help to relieve pain caused by these conditions.
Nucleoplasty, or plasma disk decompression, is a laser surgery that uses radiofrequency energy to treat low back pain associated with a slightly herniated disk. During this procedure, the surgeon inserts a needle into the disk and then inserts a plasma laser device into the hand. The device's tip is heated, forming a hot field that vaporizes the tissue in the disk. The process reduces the disc’s size, thus relieving pressure on the nerves.
Spinal fusion is another option for those seeking relief from low back pain. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the spinal disk between two or more vertebrae and then fuses the adjacent vertebrae using a bone graft. Surgeons can also use metal devices secured by screws to fuse the vertebrae. Spinal fusion can result in spinal flexibility loss and requires a long-lasting recovery period, the necessary time to allow the bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae.
Finally, artificial disk replacement is an alternative to traditional spine surgeries. This procedure replaces the damaged disk between two vertebrae with an artificial disk, which helps to preserve vertebral motion and reduce pain.
No matter which type of spine surgery you choose, it is essential to understand the risks and benefits associated with each procedure. Be sure to speak with your doctor about the method best for you and your needs.
If you or a loved one is experiencing severe back pain, it is crucial to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. A spinal specialist such as a neurosurgeon or spine surgeon is best placed to provide treatment and advice tailored to your needs.
Lumbar disc microsurgery, or microdiscectomy, is one of the most common surgical interventions for cases of severe LBP. This procedure involves the removal of a herniated or bulging disc to relieve nerve pressure and alleviate pain. The process is minimally invasive, and success rates have been reported as high as 95%.
Emerging areas of interest include the selection of a minority of patients who may benefit from spine surgery based on sagittal spinal alignment and nuclear medicine scans, although an evidence base is absent.
No matter the cause of your chronic or severe back pain, it is essential to take the time to research and understand the available treatments and find the right one for you. When considering a medical intervention, consulting with a qualified and experienced specialist for advice and treatment is essential. With the right help and support, you can find relief from your suffering and start living a life free from pain.