Chronic low back pain sufferers usually try everything short of surgery to help mitigate their pain. If you have nagging and unrelenting pain in your lower back, you’ve probably tried noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments such as medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and nerve blocks.
If you are not happy with the results so far and it has been over three months, ask an orthopedic surgeon about low back pain relief options that are more long-lasting – perhaps even providing permanent relief. Today, minimally invasive surgical techniques are being employed to provide back pain relief that lasts.
Types of Surgery to Treat Low Back Pain
Most back surgeries are now outpatient procedures, which means patients return home on the same day and enjoy a much faster recovery. Some of the highly advanced techniques orthopedic surgeons are using today include the following:
Lumbar Spinal Fusion
Chronic low back pain may be caused by an instability in the spine. During a spinal fusion procedure, the surgeon first removes any remaining disc material in between the two vertebrae that will be fused. The surgeon then places a piece of bone (usually grafted from bone elsewhere in your body, such as the pelvis) in between the two vertebrae to help them naturally heal together.
The surgeon will fasten the vertebrae in place using metal plates, screws, and/or rods. In about six months, the bone material will have completely fused together as a single bone, greatly reducing or eliminating your back pain.
This is usually performed for people who have sciatic pain radiating down one or both legs from the lower back. In this type of operation, your surgeon will usually remove some of a herniated (or bulging) disc that is pressing on a nerve and causing pain; most of the disc is left in place.
If the entire disc must be removed, then your orthopedic surgeon may replace it with a prosthetic disc or just allow the two adjacent vertebrae to fuse together naturally. The surgeon will discuss your options with you beforehand.
An alternative to fusion surgery, MILD (minimally invasive lumbar decompression) may be used to provide relief from back pain that is caused by spinal stenosis. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision and removes the small pieces of bone and ligament tissue that have narrowed the space, compressing the nerves around the spinal cord.
Back Surgery Center in Central Maryland
Modern surgical approaches have made back surgery less invasive and less risky than ever before. Here at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, our doctors perform the most advanced surgeries to provide effective back pain relief.
If you have any questions or would like to have a consultation with one of our world-class orthopedic surgeons, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to being your orthopedic healthcare partner!