Lower Back Surgery
Surgery may provide relief from pain that is caused by back problems or by serious musculoskeletal injuries that do not respond to other types of treatment. Types of lower back surgery include discectomy, foraminotomy, and intradiscal electrothermal therapy. Since surgery is not always successful, it is often only done in people with progressive neurologic disease or damage to the peripheral nerves.
Lower Back Surgery: An Overview
In most cases, lower back pain can be treated without surgery by:
- Using analgesics
- Reducing inflammation
- Restoring proper function and strength to the back
- Preventing recurrence of the injury.
In the most serious cases, when the condition does not respond to other therapies, lower back surgery may provide relief from pain that is caused by back problems or by serious musculoskeletal injuries. While some surgeries may be performed in a doctor's office under local anesthesia, others require hospitalization. It may be months following lower back surgery before a person is fully healed, and the person may suffer from permanent loss of flexibility. Since invasive lower back surgery is not always successful, it should only be performed in people with progressive neurologic disease or damage to the peripheral nerves.
Types of surgery on the lower back include:
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy
- Radiofrequency lesioning
- Spinal fusion
- Rhizotomy, cordotomy, or dorsal root entry zone operation.
Discectomy is one of the more common ways to remove pressure on a nerve root from a bulging disc or bone spur. During this procedure, the surgeon will take out a small piece of the lamina (the arched bony roof of the spinal canal) to remove the obstruction below.