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What is spinal surgery

Spinal surgery consists of performing surgery to correct possible structural abnormalities.

Back injuries, and more specifically those of the spine, have become a problem that is affecting more and more people around the world. The passing of the years, accidents, overexertion and bad posture in everyday life are the causes of the problem.

Spine surgery allows surgeons to decompress, move and fix vertebral structures, and replace them if necessary. Back surgery is an option to consider when conservative treatments have not worked and the pain remains persistent and prevents the development of a normal life.

Why is spinal surgery performed?

Spinal surgery is performed to correct spinal pathologies that cause pain. Back surgery is used to relieve the pain and/or numbness associated with this pain, which often radiates to other areas of the back, arms and legs. 

Normally, back and spinal pain is caused by the compression of a nerve within it. Nerves can be compressed for several reasons. An example would be disc problems, such as a herniated disk, which can end up pressing too hard on a vertebra against the nerve. Occasionally, osteoarthritis causes excess bone in the spine.

How do you know when you need spine surgery?

When someone comes to us with extremity symptoms, we almost always suggest they first get an evaluation with their primary care physician. If a person is experiencing low back pain or neck pain, we will usually watch them over time and encourage them to maintain good, stable physical activity to see if the issue resolves. If the issue is not resolving with physical activity, over the counter treatments, or pain management and anti-inflammatory medication, the next step would be to see a doctor for an evaluation.

Many patients with spine problems can be treated non-surgically. Physical therapy, home exercises, medication and often times spinal injections are recommended prior to considering surgery. If the problem still isn’t resolved, then surgery becomes a good option.

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