Do I Need Back Surgery

Back Pain Surgery

People suffering from severe back pain may often wonder, “Do I need back surgery?” In the vast majority of cases, the answer is no. Most people can reduce their back pain through a combination of medication management, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and/or injection therapy. In fact, according to Jeffrey S. Grossman, M.D., “99 percent of patients with severe back pain, including those with herniated disks and sciatica, can have their pain managed without surgery. There are many procedures available that can minimize or cure the pain, improving the patient’s quality of life.” To find the appropriate pain management techniques, patients can work with experienced spine specialists such as the physiatrists at Peachtree Spine. In severe cases where patients do not respond to more conservative treatment options, back surgery may be recommended. Reading the following information should help you answer the question of “Do I need back surgery?” as well as provide you with facts about back surgery alternatives.

Back Surgeries and Back Surgery Alternatives

“Do I need back surgery if I feel pressure in my lower back?” is a question that physiatrists hear a lot. There are many different causes of lower back pain; some, such as sciatica, are caused by compression or irritation of a lumbar nerve, possibly due to a herniated disc. For many people that are experiencing back pain as a result of sciatica, the answer to the question, “Do I need back surgery?” is “no.” Some people, often including those who fail to respond to pain medication, can benefit from an epidural injection. At Peachtree Spine, we perform minimally invasive needle procedures under x-ray or fluoroscopy guidance in order to ensure proper needle placement and alleviate pain. In addition to epidural injections, we may also recommend physical therapy to those experiencing pain in the lower back.

“Do I need back surgery if I have shooting pain in my arms or legs?” is another common inquiry. The answer to “Do I need back surgery if I have shooting pain in my arms or legs?” depends on the cause of the pain. Back pain caused by radiculopathy- a condition in which a nerve root is pinched or injured- frequently extends into buttocks, arms, and legs. Many patients experiencing pain caused by radiculopathy can get relief from anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications, physical therapy, and/or epidural steroid injections. On occasion, patients may require back surgery. Spinal stenosis is another condition that can lead to shooting pain in the buttocks, legs, and feet. Again, if this is the case, we generally answer negatively to inquiries such as “Do I need back surgery?” except in severe cases where patients do not respond to other treatment options.

To fully assess your condition, evaluate your back pain symptoms, and answer the question of “Do I need back surgery?” please visit the physiatrists at Peachtree Spine. Physiatrists are specialists who are trained, licensed medical doctors and can respond to the question of “Do I need back surgery?” If the answer is “no,” they will provide alternatives and, in the rare case that the answer to “Do I need back surgery?” is “yes,” they will refer you to a qualified medical professional who can perform back surgery.

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