If you are one of the millions of people every year that have spinal problems, you may be wondering if there are alternative treatments to the pain killers and physical therapy your doctor has prescribed. Especially if your spinal issues are so severe, they do not seem to be helping.
In fact, there is one treatment that may be a last resort but, if done at the right time and correctly, can help. That treatment is spinal surgery.
What is spinal surgery? — As it sounds, this is surgery that is carried out on the spine. It can be surgery that is needed due to a fracture, due to disc problems, a sports injury, or when nerves are compressed in the spine and causing pain.
Spinal surgery is usually carried out after treatments like pain killers, physical therapy, massage or bed rest have not helped.
When is spinal surgery carried out? — Most surgeons specializing in spinal injuries will try other treatments before spinal surgery is deemed to be necessary.
These treatments can include bed rest, acupuncture, deep tissue massage, manual manipulation, treatment with anti-inflammatories and a course of pain killers. A surgeon will usually recommend trying one or more of these treatments for three to six months before considering spinal surgery.
Once spinal surgery seems to be the most likely outcome, however, the surgeon will then explain the procedure, how long the surgery generally takes, what the recuperation rate is and what type of result you can best expect. It is then up to you to decide if this type of surgery is a good option for you.
When should you consider spinal surgery? — There are several things you should consider before you decide surgery is the best choice. After all, while this type of surgery may help with your problems, the recovery time can be extensive and the inconvenience on your lifestyle severe.
Look at the recuperation time, for instance, and if it can be fitted into your particular lifestyle. You will also want to consider the amount of inconvenience you will have to deal with and for how long, and what the long-term prognosis after surgery is expected to be.
Weigh up all of these things against the potential benefit of a particular spinal surgery, and then make your decision.
Minimally invasive surgery — If at all possible, choose a spinal surgery with a minimally invasive option. This means the incisions into and around your spine are much smaller, there is less bleeding, and surgery is often done with lasers instead of scalpels.
This is not only much more precise of a treatment for a spinal injury, it also requires less stitches and a far faster recovery time.
You can research the spinal surgeons in your area offering minimally invasive surgery, and have a consultation with one or more of them, for example see Joshua S. Rovner spine specialist. If you are satisfied with how the surgery will be carried out for you, you can then book an appropriate time to have it done with the surgeon you liked the most.