If you have back pain, you know how it can change your overall perspective.
If the pain is intermittent or insufficient to get you up at night, simply make regular visits to a chiropractor, massage or seek other treatments to reduce the pain.
But that’s another story when the pain interrupts every aspect of your life.
When is the time to consider surgery?
Advances in medicine and technology have enabled people with severe back pain to gain relief through minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
If other conservative treatments fail to work and your pain continues and paralyzes, back surgery can be the right choice.
The compressed nerves in your spine can cause pain or numbness that go down one or both arms and legs. Back surgery will often relieve it.
But how does the nerve become compressed? Well, that could be some situations:
Problems with your disk
Between each spinal cord is a rubber cushion called a disc.
When one of these discs protrudes or ruptures (also known as a hernia), it can press too tightly against the spinal cord and affect its function.
If you have osteoarthritis, this can cause bony bulge in your spine.
This excess bone can narrow down the amount of space available so that the nerves pass through the openings in your spine.
Once you have the diagnosis, you want to understand your situation completely.
You will also benefit by developing a positive attitude. You can do this by:
Ask as many questions as possible (no such thing as too many)
Know what the proposed operation should do, how it will be done and what will happen afterwards
Ask if your doctor can provide you with written information or direct you to books, brochures, websites or videos where you can learn more about your condition and recommended procedures
Given the risk of not undergoing surgery – such as ongoing pain, further nerve damage, or even permanent disability
Ultimately, when faced with minimally invasive surgery options, you need to ask yourself what impact your condition has on the quality of your life. How will it be affected if you do not have surgery?
Many MIS surgical procedures do not require muscle or soft tissue cutting.
And many types of spinal abnormalities are now treated using MIS surgical procedures including discectomy, laminotomy, laminectomy, decompression, spinal fusion, and instrumentation.
MIS operations can:
help shorten stay in the hospital
reduce blood loss during surgery
reduce the risk of infection
reduce muscle and tissue injury
reducing postoperative pain and the need for pain medication
Plus, there is usually a smaller scar, faster healing, and rapid return to normal activity.
Still, you’ll want to consider all your options.
The spinal surgeon may have different opinions about when to operate, what type of surgery should be performed, or whether the surgery even matches your interests.