When Is Spinal Surgery The Next Step For You?

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If your back pain can no longer be managed by the usual methods of drugs, exercise and techniques such as massage and stretching, your doctor may finally recommend that you opt for surgery.There are many different back operations available, including lumbar laminectomy, spinal fusion and microdiscectomy, and the choice will depend on the specific cause of your pain. Below is a quick guide to each of the back operations that may be the next step on your road to life without back pain.


Lumbar Laminectomy (Lumbar Spinal Decompression)

If your back pain is caused by osteoarthritis, which causes overgrown bone in the spinal canal to put pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, a lumbar laminectomy may be required. This involves removing part of the spinal bone called the lamina, which creates space in your spinal cord and relives the pressure and hopefully, your symptoms. Sometimes if you require surgery for a herniated spinal disc, lumbar laminectomy may be necessary to allow your surgeon to reach the damaged area. 


Spinal Fusion

There are several conditions for which spinal fusion is the back operation of choice: these include scoliosis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. The back pain in these cases is due to excessive vertebral movement which stretches the nerves and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. The fusion process is designed to stop the movement and therefore ease the pain. Spinal fusion usually involves using a bone graft to weld the painful vertebral bodies together to form one complete bone, which should stabilise the bones and provide relief.



If your back pain is due to herniation of a spinal disc, microdiscectomy could be the solution. Herniation of a spinal disc (also known as a slipped disc) usually occurs when a tear in the strengthening tissues along the spine allows the soft, jelly-like spinal disc to protrude against the nerves that run along the spine, putting them under pressure. This pressure and irritation causes the typical sciatic pain which tends to begin in the lower back and extend to the lower limbs, sometimes below the knee. The aim of microdiscectomy is to remove the damaged tissue to give the spinal nerves the space they need. The primary benefit of microdiscectomy is that it is minimally invasive recovery time is shorter than with other types of back operation.


Talk To a Doctor

When you have back pain it can be exhausting and demoralising, especially if you have taken on board all the medical advice but have experienced no real relief. Perhaps now it is time to make an appointment with your doctor about back operations. At the appointment you will be able to discuss your particular circumstances and come to a decision about whether back surgery is right for you.


About Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment or for your surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Premium Care offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.Please contact us for more information.

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