Back pain is common,but the degree of back pain is what usually determines treatment. Most back pain can be successfully treatedwith heat, physical therapy or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.If none of those treatments work or improve symptoms, a doctor may recommend back surgery.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Through various testing, your doctor may discover that a herniated discis what’s causing you pain. A herniated disc (also referred to as slipped or ruptured) means that one of the discs along your spine haspushedthrough a tear or rupture into the spinal canal. This happens more frequently in the lower back area but can happen in the neck or any part of the spine. Due to its displaced position, the disc presses on spinal nerves, often producingseverepain.The pain could be so intense, you may even feel the pain travel to your legs and feet.
A herniated disc can happen in one unfortunate moment. A sports injury or an incorrect move of the body when lifting something heavy can cause herniation. Aging can causeyour spine’s discs to lose its elasticity and become weak, often called disc degeneration. Other contributing risk factors include excessive body weight, which can put pressure on your spine, or a physically demanding occupation that requires you to constantly put strain on your back.
Thanks to modern technology, minimally invasive surgery to help treat a herniated disc can be done on an outpatient basis. The types of surgery that can be done on an outpatient basisare:
• A lumbar discectomy: An opening is made atthe top of the spinal canal to remove a portionof the disc, the wholeherniated disc, or more than one disc,if necessary, toproviderelief from pain and other symptoms.
• Microdiscectomy: A much more minimally invasive approach is used with a microdiscectomy. Under sedation, the surgeon will make a small incision in the back or neck to reach the distressed discand use instruments to achieve the same results as a lumbar discectomy. This approach reduces injury to muscles and surrounding tissue.
• Spinal fusion: Here bone graft is used to fuse two separate vertebrae into one solid bone. It not only helps to alleviate back pain butwill also help restore stability to the spine.
Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery
In addition to being able to go home on the same day,there are many advantages to having any one of those surgeries done in an outpatient center. Since the incisions are smallerthere is a reduced risk of infection and less pain after surgery. There is less damage done to the muscle and soft tissue, so your recovery time will be quicker, and you’ll be able to return to your normal routine quicker.
After surgery, make sure to follow your doctor’s directions. Don’t resume physical activity until you get your doctor’s OK.In some cases, physical therapy may be needed before performing any exercise. You will most likely experience some discomfort and it may feel difficult to move.If you are experiencing chronic back pain, contact your doctor.
If you need a procedure to treat symptoms, please call the Surgery Center of Fort Collins for more information. We do perform spinalproceduresfor patients, and they areoften more affordable and less stressful to have done at our ambulatory surgery center as opposed to in a hospital setting. Call 970-821-8634 for more information or to schedule an appointment.