If you are living with chronic, debilitating back pain, you probably want to know if spine surgery can relieve your discomfort and restore your quality of life. Although our experts at Long Island Spine Specialists will personally guide you through making this decision, here are some things to keep in mind when considering spine surgery.

SURGERY ISN’T ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Most back problems can be resolved without surgery. In fact, if your pain is not caused by spinal damage or pressure on the spinal cord, there’s a good chance that going under the knife won’t benefit you at all. Rather, injections, rest, physical therapy, medications, and other conservative measures may be more effective.

DID YOU KNOW?

Spine surgery can only correct anatomical deformities, tumors, compressed nerves and certain cases of instability. If these issues are not present, there is a good chance that spine surgery will not help with your condition.

CONDITIONS THAT OFTEN REQUIRE SURGERY

Although spine surgery isn’t right for every patient, there are many instances in which it is the ideal solution.
In general, our specialists will recommend surgery to treat the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Scoliosis
  • Disk degeneration
  • A spinal cord tumor
  • Spinal stenosis that causes weakness and back pain
  • Leg and arm numbness or weakness
  • Pressure around the spinal cord
  • Spinal instability
  • Bone spurs that place pressure on the spinal cord

WHEN TO SEE A SURGEON FOR BACK PAIN

Before undergoing spine surgery, we usually recommend exhausting your conservative options first – including physical therapy, steroid injections, and other approaches.

However, you may want to visit a spine surgeon sooner if you’re experiencing:


Unrelenting Back Pain

If your back pain is not relieved with pain medications or non-surgical treatments, and your discomfort has persisted for several weeks or months, it’s time to visit a spine surgeon.

Inability to Function

If your back pain renders you unable to perform daily activities, drive your car, and go to work, you should visit a spine surgeon sooner rather than later and begin reviewing your options.

TIMING: A CRUCIAL COMPONENT OF BACK SURGERY

Back surgery isn’t something our specialists rush into. Often, we will monitor your condition for several weeks or months to see if your body can heal on its own or if your condition will respond to conservative measures.

However, once surgery is recommended, you do not want to delay treatment. Ongoing spinal cord compression due to a progressively worsening condition can result in substantial, and potentially irreversible, nerve damage.

MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION FOR YOU

At Long Island Spine Specialists, we are here to walk you through the decision-making process and help you determine if back surgery is in your best interest. We will always offer honest, objective guidance based on your unique condition and circumstances — and we will only recommend surgery if we are confident that you will benefit from the procedure.

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