Lower back operation

A lower back operation is used to help treat the lower back pain caused by several different lumbar spine conditions, such as a herniated disc or sciatica.

Many adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can be temporary, caused by a minor injury from lifting or bending incorrectly, or chronic, caused by the development of a spine condition.

What causes lower back pain?

The lower back is especially vulnerable to injury because it supports much of our body weight and is heavily involved when we twist, turn, bend or arch our backs. As a result, the lumbar region of the spine sustains wear and damage, resulting in painful conditions like bulging disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and lumbar foraminal stenosis.

These degenerative spine conditions can result in the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Limited mobility
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning sensation

These symptoms can originate in the lower back and travel down the buttocks, legs and feet if the nerve compression is severe.

When is a lower back operation necessary?

While a lower back operation can be effective in treating these conditions, physicians recommend that conservative treatment options are tried before surgery.

A physical therapy routine can help restore strength and flexibility to the muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine so that painful spinal pressure can be relieved. Mild exercise, combined with periods of rest, can also help the lower back stay healthy. Taking over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including muscle relaxants, narcotic pain medications, oral steroids and acetaminophen, can also relieve symptoms.

If oral medications do not prove effective, your physician may suggest steroid injections. Commonly known as an epidural injection because the injection is delivered in the epidural space (the outermost part of the spinal canal), a steroid injection can help to relieve spine pain for short periods of time, which may be helpful if you need relief while trying to embark on a physical therapy routine.

For many, these conservative treatments are an effective method of pain relief. However, if you do not find relief with these techniques, a lower back operation may be your next treatment option. If you are facing the decision of a lower back operation, contact Laser Spine Institute for information about an alternative to traditional open back surgery.

The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute uses a smaller incision than a traditional open back surgery, with our approach sparing surrounding muscles along the spine.

It’s time to take the next step on your journey to find pain relief. Contact us today for your no-cost MRI review* to learn if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.