Chronic back pain plagues so many of us. It’s a leading public health concern, having a major impact on US productivity. Many chronic back pain sufferers try every possible cure under the sun, from physical therapy to core exercises, acupuncture and myriad other therapies. Some are effective. Others? Not so much.
Chronic pain of any kind is exhausting and when it’s your back, it can be debilitating, affecting your mood and energy levels. Once people arrive at the surgical option as the last alternative, they’re good and ready. They’re tired and the pain is no longer tolerable.
If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain for more than 3 months, then it may be time to talk to your doctor about surgery. It’s a last resort but it’s what some need to get to back to feeling like themselves and enjoying the life they had before the pain came.
So, when is spine surgery the next right step? Let’s talk about it.
Not a Silver Bullet
There’s a public belief that surgery is a silver bullet. But that’s not the case. In fact, surgery is a big step. For one, it’s a trauma to the body. For another, there’s extensive recovery time involved, especially with back surgery.
No surgery comes without an element of risk and all surgeries are not successful. But when you’ve been suffering with back pain for a long time, it’s an option that can offer hope and recovery. We see it all the time at Central Texas Spine Institute. We see lives changed by spine surgery.
So, while it’s not a silver bullet and it’s not applicable to every back pain problem, talking to your doctor about it and exploring the possibilities available to help resolve your back pain is a logical progression on your therapeutic journey. For those with injury to the spine occasioned by trauma and those who’ve become disabled by the pain, surgery holds out hope of great improvement.
Factors That Matter
The type of condition causing your pain is of paramount importance in identifying the surgical method that’s going to be most effective for resolving it. But the surgeon is probably the most important factor.
A skilled surgeon with an excellent track record and reputation is crucial to the success of spine surgery. Also, if your condition allows for the application of minimally invasive techniques, these should be considered first.
Minimally invasive surgeries offer greatly reduced risk of complications like infection and reduce in-hospital and recovery time dramatically. These techniques are gaining traction.
Also, you need to have arrived at an understanding that it’s time for the surgical option. Surgery is a big deal and you need to be ready to accept what it entails and feel confident about the surgeon who’ll be operating.
If you’ve tried everything out there, from chiropractic to massage therapy, then spine surgery could well be the next right step.
CTSI is committed to restoring function and quality of life to our patients. Here, we work as a team, identifying solutions that fit.