Practice Blog

3 Signs You Should Ask Your Doctor About Spine Surgery

May 16, 2022

About 16 million adults live with chronic back pain. Each year, the American population spends a collective $11 billion on back and spine surgery. To determine if you’re a good candidate for spine surgery, check yourself against this list of the three most common signs it’s time to think about back surgery.

1. Back Pain Persists After Non-surgical Treatments

In many instances of chronic back pain, people find relief in non-surgical spine treatments and epidural steroid injections. However, if those treatments no longer work for you, you may be suffering from spinal degeneration — a general term for when parts of the spine wear away. This could be due to:

  • Natural bone loss from aging
  • A spinal infection
  • A tumor
  • Arthritis
  • Conditions like degenerative disc disease

Before recommending spinal surgery, your doctor may see if certain lifestyle changes help you manage spine and back pain. If that doesn’t help and your pain continues to get worse, back surgery may be your best option.

2. Acute Back Pain Lasts For A Long Time

People with chronic back pain often live with constant dull aches and pains. Sometimes, certain activities like walking, sitting or standing too long cause sharp, shooting back pain.

If you read this and thought, “My back pain is always sharp and shooting,” you should ask your doctor about spine surgery.

Medical professionals say acute back pain typically lasts for a few weeks at most. When it goes on for three months or more, a nerve issue, misaligned disc or bone spur could be the cause.

3. Back Pain Radiates To Your Arms and Legs

When back pain travels to your arms and legs, it could be an indication of certain conditions that may require spine surgery:

  • Spinal stenosis. This is a condition in which the spine narrows too much and compresses nerves. Pain often starts in the lumbar spine and causes leg and foot pain and weakness, numbness around the buttocks and balance issues.
  • Bone spurs. When bone spurs for on the spine, it tightens the area around the spinal cord and nerves. They typically cause numbness in the arms or legs. Spinal surgeons often remove bone spurs in a procedure called osteotomy.
  • Herniated discs. A slipped or herniated disk occurs after an injury or when the spine degrades too quickly. When the interior of a disc breaks through its tough casing, it may put pressure on nerves and cause numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in your arms or legs. Spine surgery for a herniated disc can be surprisingly minimally-invasive because only a portion of the disc needs to be taken out.

Find Personalized Spine Surgery Solutions in Florida

At All Spine Care of Clearwater, Florida, we know that choosing to undergo spine surgery is a life-changing decision. Let us help you make it a change for the better. With a staff of professionals specializing in a wide range of spine surgery techniques, we’ll work with you to fine one tailored to your needs. To schedule an appointment or find out more, contact us today.

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