Any man or woman can experience back pain. It can happen immediately after a serious injury or develop gradually due to repeated activities that strain the back. Acute low back pain is the most reported type of backache, and it can come and disappear in about two to twelve weeks. While most episodes of lumbar spine pain can improve with only non-surgical treatment, there are some that can only be treated by an orthopedic surgeon.
Whether or not you require back surgery can be a confusing matter; so, it is wise to find a spine surgeon near you. He or she will carry out special diagnostic tests and determine the extent of back injury or disease, its origin and the best type of cure to offer you. A dependable back pain doctor NYC can be suggested by your primary care physician or family doctor.
Prior to seeing pain management doctors
These doctors handle severe cases of back pain. Before your acute pain becomes sub-acute or chronic, you can seek help from a primary care doctor. After carrying out their tests, they can prescribe drugs that can reduce pain and inflammation. These are called NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If these don’t help and the pain gets severe, a family doctor can prescribe a non-narcotic pain medicine like ultram or another narcotic drug that is taken on a short-term basis.
Beside drugs, they can direct you to a chiropractor. This is a back pain doctor NYC who uses mechanical methods of alleviating low back pain. He or she can manipulate your spine via techniques that can bring great success. If pain in your low back begins to improve, you can resume your normal chores gradually and forget about seeing an orthopedic surgeon. All the same, you will require the assistance of physical therapists when it comes to exercising.
As well as stretching and working out, a recurrence of back pain can be prevented by improving your posture when working, sleeping, standing and so on. In short, you should learn more about the anatomy of your back and how to take care of it to keep accidents away. A combination therapy involving non-surgical treatments of backache can offer great help.
More about non-surgical care for low back pain
A lot is done before a decision to see an orthopedic surgeon for back surgery is made. The pain management doctor might even recommend that you get in touch with a physiatrist doctor. A physiatrist is trained in curing musculoskeletal problems that affect the spine. They are back pain doctor NYC specialists who focus on treating the spine, just like the neurologist treats only neurological disorders. Physiatrists’ specialized care can keep you from surgery of the back.
Your physiatrist will collaborate with an orthopedic surgeon when doing their thing. Besides, it is not unusual to come across physiatrists who are also pain management doctors. In other words, they have the same knowledge that interventional pain medicine doctors have and might as well know how to give epidural steroid shots. That is, they can act as anesthesiologists and pain management specialists as well.
Needless to say, well trained physiatrists can as well do diagnostic testsand physical tests to discover the exact source of low back pain and determine the best non-surgical treatment options. In addition to all the above, these experts can tell you when to see an orthopedic surgeon.
When is it right to meet an orthopedic surgeon?
This is a back pain doctor NYC who specializes in spinal surgeries. Sometimes low back pain is only corrected fully through surgery. This happens when there are anatomical conditions that make the spine unstable or causes certain components of the spine to pinch or compress a nerve. These anatomical issues are discovered during an imaging study and if your symptoms align with the clinical and radiographic image, back surgery may be the ultimate solution.
In some cases, there is no identifiable anatomic cause of lumbar spine pain that are seen on a MRI scan image, CT scan (myelogram or discography) image or the routine flexion extension film for spinal instability. So the orthopedic surgeon will not recommend spinal surgery. If all the conservative spinal pain cures fail to reduce your back discomfort, you shouldn’t imagine that you are going to be a surgery patient. There might be other alternatives your back pain doctor NYC can recommend, especially if they find that an anatomical lesion is causing lumbar spine pain. In most cases, it is the patient who decides if he or she wants to go through with the surgery.
A back pain doctor NYC will pick surgery as the right solution and give you a chance to decide if you want to pursue it. To help you make this decision, he or she will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the surgical procedure. If you decide to use this treatment technique, select a qualified orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Michael Nguyen, M.D.
Factors to consider prior to seeing an orthopedic surgeon
Back pain can get serious and prompt a decision to meet a back pain doctor NYC who does spinal surgery. Besides an instruction by your primary care doctor to see a surgeon, there are more factors to consider:
- The degree of lumbar spine pain or leg pain – If you have tried most non-surgical treatments in vain, and the pain has gotten worse for weeks or months; it might be time to seek the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon. Narcotic pain medicines are strong enough to alleviate most episodes of backache. If they fail to provide help, seeing a back surgeon may be the only solution left to try.
- Your ability to live normally with your lower back pain – Your ability to continue working and doing your daily chores while having backache is even more important to consider than the level of lower back pain. If you become immobile and unable to function normally, the cause of the pain should be investigated further by a top back pain doctor NYC. If he or she suggests surgery as the final solution, it may be advisable to endure it. A great surgeon will be able to restore your spine health and after recovering, you will be able to drive yourself and run your errands as you once did.
- Scope of spinal surgery – There are different kinds of back surgery. Some are invasive and hard to recover from and others are less invasive and easier to recover from. Based on the real cause of your backache and the amount of damage it has caused, you might have to go through an invasive surgical procedure that could change the anatomy of your spine or a minimally invasive surgery like microdiscectomy.
What things should you expect from surgery for lumbar spine area
In case you will endure an invasive surgical operation, expect to take more time in the operating room. A less invasive procedure takes a shorter time, of course. Additionally, you are likely to need a prolonged recovery time if you undergo an invasive spinal surgery. To avoid surprises, make sure you discuss your options with your back pain doctor NYC prior to the start of the procedure.
By so doing, you will make sensible decisions about sick leave, paying hospital bills, assistance during recovery and so on. If you have medical insurance and wants to use it, it helps to know the type of surgery you require and the associated costs. It is possible that your medical insurer will clear the entire bill or pay it up to a certain extent.
Types of back surgeries
If you become a spinal surgery patient, the orthopedic surgeon will recommend a given type of treatment. The popular ones include the following:
- Spine surgery for leg pain – This type of surgery is designed for patients with radiculopathy(leg pain) due to a pinched nerve in the lower back. A nerve in the lumbar spine area can be pinched by a bone spur, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis(narrowing of the spinal canal), spinal tumor, sacroiliitis, ankylosing spondylitis and muscle strain and so on. If your leg pain has not responded to non-surgical treatment after four to six weeks, your back pain doctor NYC might recommend an MRI scan. This scan test will reveal whether you have a pinched nerve that is triggering all the pain. Prior to recommending surgery, your back specialist will give you steroid injections. In case these don’t help, he or she will carry out a lumbar decompression spine surgery to take off pressure from a pinched nerve. As this is a less invasive surgical operation, you will resume normal work in one to three weeks. If done by a well-trained and experienced orthopedic surgeon, decompression spine surgery can be over ninety percent successful. It is an effective method of removing leg pain due to a pinched nerve or sciatica.
- Surgery for lumbar spine pain – Sometimes the pain will not radiate to your lower extremes. It will stay in your lower back area, suggesting that there is no pinched nerve. This type of surgery is usually extensive and requires a longer healing period. It also has a somewhat lower success rate compared to a pinched nerve surgery, unfortunately. All the same, you can increase its success rate by picking the best orthopedic surgeon near you. Take the time to know his or her medical education background, work history and the number of patients they have successfully treated. The most widespread type of lower back pain surgery is offered six to twelve months after conservative backache treatment plan fails. It is called fusion surgery and it is all about the removal of the component that is generating the lower back pain.
How long is the recovery period after back surgery
Whether you will endure a minimally invasive or an invasive back surgery, there will be a recovery period. If you undergo fusion surgery of the lower back area, your recovery time is likely to be three to twelve months. It is thought to be seventy to ninety percent effective, based on the specific spinal component that is being treated via surgery. If this surgical process alone is not enough to eliminate ongoing back pain, the orthopedic expert might suggest the artificial disc surgery or total disc replacement surgery. In such a situation, recovery might take months.
Emergency spinal surgery
Elective surgical procedures are more rampant when treating severe back pain or sciatic nerve pain in legs. All the same, if you have symptoms that indicate severe medical problems, seeking emergency medical help from a back pain doctor NYC is a must. These symptoms include the following:
- Abrupt bowel and/or bladder incontinence – This refers to inability to control your bowel movements or urination. It can be accompanied by weakness in legs that keeps on worsening. If you have such symptoms, seek immediate medical help as it might that you have cauda equine syndrome or nerve damage.
- Do you have serious and consistent abdominal pain or back pain? If so, chances are that you are suffering from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. See a reliable back pain surgeon the soonest possible.
If you have the above-mentioned symptoms, the emergency room pain management doctors will decide whether you require immediate spine surgery. As surgery is usually picked as the last resort, your back must be really bad if it is suggested. To better your quality of life, just accept surgery. Ensure that it is done by a great back pain doctor, however, to increase your chances of success. The back specialist will also give you good recovery tips after undergoing surgery. Follow them closely to recover quickly and safely.
Honor all your future appointments with your orthopedic doctor too, to ensure that complications are discovered and eliminated early. Recurrence of chronic back pain should be reported the soonest possible. Now you know how to get rid of lower back pain via less invasive or invasive surgery. If your back pain doctor NYC has suggested surgery, it is a sign that they have no other alternative. Accept their decision and stay positive about the outcome.