Lumbar Spine Surgery Discussed By a Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Spine Surgeon in Lander, WY
Lumbar spine surgery can be performed to treat back pain by alleviating painful pressure on a compressed nerve root or strengthening a weakened area of the lower spine. Surgery can be a good option for a select group of people who are experiencing very severe or debilitating pain. However, the spine surgeon at Teton Orthopaedics in Lander, WY, typically begins by recommending nonsurgical treatments for most patients, reserving surgery as a last resort to be used only when relief is needed and nothing else seems to help.
Most people who have back pain never need to have lumbar spine surgery because they find success with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections. Of course, the “success” or “failure” of a treatment can mean different things to different people. When it comes to back pain, each patient must decide for him- or herself what works and what does not.
In almost all cases, spine surgery is elective, which means that the decision to proceed is entirely up to the patient. In order to make a fully informed choice, a patient is encouraged to consult with a qualified spine specialist, such as the board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeon at Teton Orthopaedics in Lander, Wyoming. While a surgical procedure never comes with any guarantees, a surgeon can explain what may be accomplished through surgery. For instance, lumbar spine surgery can:
- Decompress a nerve root
- Stabilize a weakened spinal segment
In order to achieve either of these goals, however, a surgeon must first be able to identify a compressed nerve root or weakened spinal segment. In other words, a combination of back pain and a “failure” of conservative treatment alone is not a clear-cut indication that surgery is appropriate. A surgeon must be able to find the pathological cause of the pain in order to be able to correct it through a surgical procedure.
If a patient is a surgical candidate, his or her decision on whether or not to proceed should take into account a number of individual factors, including the amount of pain and his or her ability to tolerate it. To reiterate: lumbar spine surgery is almost always elective; a surgeon can explain what can be done, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be done.
Individuals from Lander, WY, who would like to learn more about lumbar spine surgery and other treatments for back pain are welcome to consult with the spine experts at Teton Orthopaedics.