Back Surgery as a Treatment for Back Pain

If you have a chronic lower back problem, and all the exercising, injections, pain relievers, and even acupunctures no longer seem to work, you may need to visit your physician and consider having a surgery. It may be too drastic, scary even, but considering the constant pain and sleepless nights you have been suffering, this may be your last resort.

What makes you a candidate for back surgery?

Your physician should determine what causes your back to hurt. If the cause of your lower back pains is simple stresses on the muscles or soft tissue, you are not likely to benefit from surgery. However, if you pain is caused by a herniated disc or nerve damage, you may become a candidate if all the non-surgical treatments do not work in dealing with the pain.

A herniated disk can be determined if the pain radiates from the back down into your legs, which is caused by compressions of the nerve roots in your back. Meanwhile, pain caused by degenerative disc disease (or ordinary aging) often has less success rate if surgery is to be performed to relieve it.

Determining the cause of back pain can be difficult, especially in the impact of social, psychological, and other factors that can exacerbate it.

How the surgery works?

Back surgeries are usually done using lasers that decompresses herniated discs. Its success rate ranges from 70 to 90 percent.

Advantages and disadvantages

Studies have shown that both surgical and non-surgical treatments have similar results. A study done in 2005 shows that patients who had spinal fusion surgery had the same decrease in the amount of pain experienced during everyday activities as those patients who had intensive physical rehabilitation and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Also, any back surgery may initially be successful and may address pain quicker than non-surgical means, but long-term follow-up studies show that people who have had surgery are not much off than those who do not.

In some cases, patients had to repeat the surgery within 10 years. And as with all surgeries, risks of nerve damage, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia may occur.