The issue may disappear within a few days or weeks without any treatment if you have back pain. Often pain that emanates from joints, ligaments, muscles, and bones does not require a surgical intervention to help mitigate or relieve your discomfort. Therefore, instead of undergoing spine surgery East Brunswick, your spine surgeon may devise a treatment plan that involves physical activity, lifestyle changes, pain medication, heat and ice therapy, and epidural steroid injections. For instance, healthy lifestyle choices you may have to adopt are maintaining a healthy weight, improving posture, and quitting smoking.
However, if conservative treatments do not help to alleviate your lower back pain and discomfort, which is affecting your quality of life, you may have to undergo spine surgery. There are various surgical treatments your spine surgeon can choose for you, including artificial disc replacement, discectomy, and spinal fusion. Consequently, below are the vital signs you may need spine surgery.
- Long-lasting pain
Most cases of back pain disappear within a few weeks or months. According to research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, nearly 75% to 90% of cases of acute back pain resolve within a few weeks. You may receive relief from acute back pain by relying on different conservative treatments, like epidural nerve blocks, lifestyle modifications, and physical therapy.
But if the pain and discomfort persist for more than three months, it is the right time to talk to your spine surgeon. You do not have to endure the back aches anymore, which may make it difficult for you to sit, stand, walk, or lie down.
- Pain affecting arms and legs
Because there is a connection in every nerve, pain signals can spread throughout your body. You may have radiculopathy if the back pain is also felt in your arms and legs. Simply known as radiating pain, radiculopathy is a condition resulting from the pinching of the nerve root in your spinal column. The pinching of the nerve can occur at any section along the spine.
A pinched nerve in your lower back may result from herniated discs and bone spurs. You may also have pain radiating to your arms and legs due to spinal arthritis. Spinal osteoarthritis, or spinal arthritis, is a chronic degenerative disease of the spine involving the wear and tear of the cartilage around joints in your lower back. The deterioration of spinal or facet joints leads to contact between bones. Therefore, the resulting bone spurs can exert pressure on the nerve roots to cause back pain.
- Severe trauma
Sometimes you may have back pain due to an accident or a chronic condition that worsens without treatment. You may require emergency spine surgery if you have cauda equina syndrome, a condition characterized by the compression of a group of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord.
The pinching of nerves at the base of your spinal cord may cause an unexpected loss of bladder and bowel control, lack of sexual desire, and severe pain and numbness in your lower back.
Contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates, LLP today to schedule an appointment with a spine surgery specialist.