Credible studies exploring the efficacy and practice of spinal surgery concludes that; non-operative treatment is sufficient for nearly 90 percent of patient cases. Spinal injury, in itself, differs greatly from one patient to another, making personalized treatment a pragmatic approach for successful therapy. Today’s widely applied non-operative measures include spinal injections, medication management, physical therapy or polytherapy options. In any situation, a patient should exhaustively research every recourse before settling for spinal surgery. It’s imperative to learn the different back, neck or spinal complications that require surgical intervention and those that do not.
Largely, practitioners recommend spinal intervention when all non-operative techniques fail to remedy the root cause of discomfort. Of the countless circumstances prompting sufferers to undergo spinal surgery today, nerve compression remains a widespread concern. The fact that the condition is progressively symptomatic, nerve compression generally manifest a spate of prodromes. Muscle weakness, chronic pain, tingling sensation, and numbness are typical examples of such symptoms. The root problem of nerve compression varies, however, spinal stenosis and one or multiple disc herniation are common triggers. In an effort to repair any underlying damage and prevent long-term impairment, spinal surgery such as laminectomy is sometimes applicable. DLIF (Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion), XLIF (Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion); and ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody) have also become standard treatment for nerve-related spinal complications today.
Lumbar Instability (spinal) is another complication that often requires surgical intervention to correct minor to moderate structural impairment. When the spine is unstable, it’s incapable of protecting and supporting body functions. Muscles are likely to weaken as problems with spinal ligaments, bones, and discs within the vertebral column progress. Spondylolisthesis, spinal fractures, and some severe disc injuries can eventually cause progressive instability that impairs normal functions. Nerve compression, neurological complication, leg pain, and intractable back syndrome are also common symptoms of lumbar instability. Orthopedic surgeons recommend Lateral Interbody Fusion, PLIF (Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) and ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion) for spinal instability.
Aging and natural structural degeneration within the vertebral column is also a stressor that compromises spinal alignment. While non-surgical corrective procedures can remedy certain symptoms brought on by kyphosis and scoliosis, every case is subjective. However, surgical intervention is practical when such degenerative conditions compromise the natural spinal curvature. For example, realignment through spinal surgery is necessary to remedy the symptoms of chronic flat-back syndrome.
In most situations, a vertebral compression fracture normally heals within weeks naturally. With physical therapy, including yoga, spinal manipulation, exercise, acupuncture and massage, healing progresses faster. Ultimately, a patient should experience complete relief as symptoms subside. Although this is the norm, some more severe cases affecting the bladder, mobility and bowel control indicate a deeper problem. With this happening, providing stability and mechanical support to the spine through spinal surgery can give long-term relief.
Spinal arthritis encompasses nerve-related compression from bone spurs. Furthermore, it’s a root cause of spinal stenosis seen in cases today, a formal evaluation is standard to determine which treatment plan provides the absolute outcome. Although spinal surgery is almost always a recommendation, it’s of paramount importance one discusses every option with a specialist (visit Joshua S. Rovner, MD – Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics if you are from NJ). Consequently, considering conservative treatment can help restore functionality, but this varies from one patient to the next. The wait can sometimes precipitate the condition, ultimately causing permanent impairment. So, discussing all symptoms with an orthopedic surgeon makes formulating an optimal treatment solution easier.