Living with neck or back pain is uncomfortable, and these symptoms can take a toll on every aspect of your life. Do you find it difficult to get through the workday or keep up with responsibilities at home because you are constantly in pain? Then you might be considering orthopedic surgery.
As many as 23% of adults around the world suffer from chronic low back pain. Many others have different types of spinal pain, such as upper back or neck issues.
Living with this type of pain can be frustrating, especially when you feel hopeless because you’ve tried many treatments, and none of them seem to work. General physicians have a limited ability to get to the root of the problem, which is why it’s essential that you contact a specialist if you are dealing with ongoing pain in your back or neck.
Our Approach: Minimally Invasive Treatments First
Just because you schedule a consultation with an orthopedic doctor doesn’t mean you will be rushed into the surgical room immediately. While there are times when surgery is the best treatment, we take a conservative approach to implement minimally invasive treatments whenever possible.
Modern medical advances in the orthopedic industry make it possible to treat root-cause issues without going under the knife. For example, some patients have success with spinal injections and/or physical therapy, helping to avoid or delay the need for back or neck surgery. There are many options for non-surgical treatment options.
- Medications: Prescription or over-the-counter drugs reduce inflammation and ease pain. These medications offer short-term relief to support recovery and allow patients to participate in other treatments for long-term results (such as physical therapy).
- Physical Therapy: Not only do patients work with a therapist during their in-person appointments, but at-home exercises are important to strengthen the muscles and improve mobility. These exercises might seem simple, but they make a big difference in relieving pain and symptoms when you consistently use them.
- Ice and Heat: Sometimes, localized applications of ice and/or heat can help to reduce the pain. For example, ice eases swelling and helps with pain relief. Heat improves circulation and helps to relax the affected muscles.
- Immobilization: Depending on the type of injury, it might be necessary to immobilize that part of the body to support healing. One common example is wearing a soft neck collar to provide stability to the neck and relieve pressure.
If these minimally invasive treatments don’t work, then our team can talk to you about surgical options. We use the latest technology and have top-notch training to ensure the highest results for all types of surgical interventions.
When Is Back or Neck Surgery Recommended?
When conservative treatments don’t provide sufficient relief, your orthopedic doctor might start talking to you about surgical treatments. Our team at Orthopedic Associates uses neck and back surgery as a last resort when the other treatments aren’t effective at reducing pain.
Often, conditions that require surgical treatment are because of an injury or degenerative changes (usually relating to age).
- Pinched Nerve: When the physical structure of the spine is putting excess pressure on a nerve, surgery is an option to free the nerve and relieve the pressure.
- Spinal Compression: There are times when the spinal cord starts to be irritated or compressed, often due to an injury, scoliosis, or osteoarthritis.
- Spinal Fractures: If one or more bones in the spine are broken, then surgery is often needed to support recovery and minimize the risk of complications.
When these pain symptoms last 3 months or longer, an orthopedic doctor might help you determine if it is time for surgery.
Personalized Treatment Plan for Every Orthopedic Patient
The good news is that you always receive personalized care when working with our Orthopedic Associates team. We understand that each patient is unique, which is why we never jump to conclusions about cookie-cutter treatments.
Instead, our specialists take time to get to know each patient, then use detailed imaging and testing to identify the root cause of neck and back pain. Once an accurate diagnosis is identified, we can proceed with your personalized treatment plan.
Rest assured, knowing that we are always here to answer your questions and assist you every step of the way. We provide in-depth education for every patient about available treatment options. Then, you are empowered to choose the solutions that are the best fit for your unique needs.
Types of Spinal Surgery
An orthopedic surgeon offers different types of spinal surgeries depending on each patient’s specific needs.
- Diskectomy: A treatment that removes the portion of a disk that is herniated.
- Fusion: This process removes the damaged spinal joints and uses implants that create a permanent connection between two or more bones.
- Laminectomy: Removing parts of the bone in the spine, so there is more room for the nerves and spinal cord, helping to alleviate pinched nerves.
- Artificial Disks: Metal or plastic devices inserted into the spinal area to replace the cushion damaged between two spinal bones.
Is Back or Neck Surgery Right for You?
How do you know if you should move forward with surgical treatment? The most common sign that you might benefit from surgery is when the pain is disabling – to the point where severe pain limits your daily activities.
Consider how much your lifestyle is being affected by your pain. Back and neck functions are essential for even the most common daily tasks, such as washing the dishes or cooking dinner. This type of pain can also take a toll on your performance and consistency at work, school, and social settings.
If you find that important areas of your life are interrupted by neck or back pain, then it might be time to consider surgery.
But it’s important to understand: Back and neck surgery can only help with specific causes of back pain. Your doctor will need to identify the exact cause of the pain in order to determine if surgery will be beneficial for your situation.
Schedule a Consultation with an Orthopedic Doctor
Are you trying to find the ideal treatment for your neck or back pain? Then the first step is to schedule a consultation with an orthopedic specialist.
At Orthopedic Associates is here to help with modern treatments, diagnostics, and personalized services. Contact us to learn more about our full-service approach for chronic pain, sports injuries, age-related conditions, and more. Call us when you are ready to book an appointment: (972) 420-1776.