When to consider back surgery for a degenerative spine condition

For some, the thought of back surgery may come immediately to mind when researching treatment options for a degenerative spine condition. While back surgery is an available treatment that can provide lasting relief in some cases, many patients are able to find relief through conservative, nonsurgical treatment options prescribed by their primary care doctor.

Back surgery is an elective procedure that should only be used as a last resort treatment option if conservative treatments have been exhausted and you are still suffering from pain and other debilitating symptoms. The following information can give you a better understanding of the full range of treatment options that are available if you are wondering when to consider back surgery for a degenerative spine condition.

Before considering back surgery

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration before back surgery is chosen as a treatment for neck and back pain relief.

The first thing to consider is the availability and effectiveness of nonsurgical treatments for relieving chronic spine pain. After diagnosing your condition, your doctor should prescribe a combination of conservative treatment methods to help you regain your quality of life. These recommendations will be made depending on the type, severity and location of your degenerative spine condition as well as your lifestyle and medical history.

Some of the most common conservative treatment methods prescribed are:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication
  • Stretching exercises for flexibility
  • Strength training, particularly within the core muscle groups
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Healthy lifestyle choices like losing weight, improving nutrition, quitting smoking and improving posture

These and other treatments are often combined to increase your pain relief. Before changing or starting any treatment methods, you should always seek approval from your doctor to ensure your health and safety.

If conservative treatment does not work

If you are at the point where you have been recommended to undergo spine surgery, you should contact the caring and dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve the symptoms of many common degenerative spine conditions.

Because our procedures are minimally invasive and performed on an outpatient basis, our patients can experience a lower risk of complication and infection as well as a shorter recovery time^ compared to traditional open neck or back surgery. In addition to minimally invasive decompression procedures, our highly skilled surgeons also perform minimally invasive stabilization surgery that is an alternative to traditional open spine fusions.

To learn about the minimally invasive procedures provided at Laser Spine Institute to relieve neck and back pain, contact us today. We can review your MRI report or CT scan at no-cost* to determine if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.