Spinal conditions such as herniated discs, spondylitis, myelopathy, and sciatica are not only painful but if left untreated, can also turn debilitating and prevent a person from going about his normal daily activities. Medication, restriction of activities, physical therapy, hot and cold compress, gentle massage, and administration of steroidal injections are some common treatment methods for such cases. Orthopedic spine surgery is also performed on some patients to treat their specific conditions. So when should you visit a spine surgeon?
When Non-Surgical Methods Fail
When the administration of one or more non-surgical methods of treatment for a period of four weeks fails to produce the desired results, a back pain doctor may be compelled to go in for a spinal surgery. A patient is also advised to go in for a surgery if his chronic back and/or leg pain severely hampers his movements. This is the most common reason why a spine surgeon prescribes surgery for patients suffering from spinal conditions.
When Surgery is the Only or the Most Effective Treatment
A spine surgeon carries out a series of diagnostic and physical tests on his patient to determine the nature and severity of the condition. He advises surgery only if the results of the test indicate fairly conclusively that the surgical procedure can effectively treat the particular condition.
When the Spinal Condition Makes Your Spine Unstable
There are some conditions like fractured vertebrae, osteoporosis, or some kind of damage in the spinal cord region that make the spine unstable. In such a situation, a person not only suffers from intense pain but his movements may also be severely restricted. What is more, an unstable spine significantly hampers his balance and increases his chances of slipping and falling. Surgery is often advised in such cases.
When a Spinal Condition is Progressive
There are certain spinal conditions that are progressively degenerative or may lead to nerve compression. When an individual suffers from conditions like Kyphosis, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy arising from herniated discs, Spinal Stenosis caused by arthritis, any form of a degenerative disc disease, or Spondylolisthesis, a back pain doctor usually prescribes surgery to correct the condition. Vertebral fracture and dislocation may also necessitate surgery to realign the bones.
When You need to Get Back into Action Quickly
Although non-surgical methods of treating spinal conditions have been proven to be effective in most cases, the desired results usually take time to show up. But a patient may need to resume his daily activities quickly, especially if his spinal condition had been hampering his ability to earn his livelihood. In such cases, a surgery may be performed to speed up recovery.
According to many research studies, almost 90 percent of all spinal conditions can be managed with non-surgical and minimally invasive methods of treatment. The decision to carry out a surgery to treat a spinal condition is taken jointly by a spine surgeon and the patient and/or his loved ones after thoroughly determining the feasibility of the move. It is usually the last resort of a back pain doctor.