If you suffer from chronic back pain, it is beneficial to be aware of the signs that might point to the need for spine surgery. You should be especially wary if your symptoms are severe or worsening over time. A minimally invasive spine surgery can be performed as a fusion, a disc replacement, or a decompression surgery to get the spine stabilized and also to relieve pressure from the spinal nerves. However, what are the common symptoms that might indicate these surgeries are needed?
Back Pain That has Lasted for More Than Three Months
The most common sign that might suggest spine surgery is a back pain that has lasted for more than three months. Lumbar spine symptoms can be challenging to deal with, especially when it comes to those who already suffer from chronic back pain. While some cases of chronic lower back pain might improve with time, the problem usually becomes worse over time. In case you are experiencing back pain that recurs for more than three months, you should consider seeing a doctor right away.
Numbness or Tingling in the Legs
Paralysis in the legs or feet is another sign that might indicate the need for surgery. According to a study published in 2015, symptoms of numbness or tingling in the legs can be caused by spinal stenosis. This condition involves narrowing of the openings in the spinal canal. If the narrowing is caused by a herniated disc or osteoarthritis, then undergoing surgery might prove to be beneficial.
Back Pain That is Accompanied by Changes in Bowel or Bladder Function
A combination of symptoms in the lower back and bowels, including constipation and incontinence, can be caused by spinal stenosis. In cases like these, a disc replacement might be helpful. However, a combination of both spinal stenosis and urinary incontinence can also result from the narrowing of the canal, causing nerve irritation that affects bowel or bladder function. In such cases, your doctor might recommend getting surgery to relieve nerve irritation.
Trouble Walking and Mobility Limitations
In the case of a herniated disc, the disc material can press on spinal nerves that cause radiating pain and muscle weakness. This can result in trouble walking, as well as mobility limitations. If your back pain is accompanied by these symptoms, then you should consider getting surgery to relieve pressure on spinal nerves. In addition, if the pain results in muscle weakness that interferes with daily life, then it is a good idea to consider surgery.
Spinal stenosis is another condition that might affect your nerve roots and result in back pain and leg pains. This can be caused by scar tissue, damaged discs, or a bony growth pressing on the spine. This causes compression of nerve roots in the lower back, which triggers back pain, leg weakness, and numbness or tingling in the legs. A pain management treatment plan can help alleviate the pain caused by these symptoms, but that might not be enough. If you are dealing with such symptoms, you should consider spinal surgery to relieve pressure on spinal nerves and enhance your quality of life.
Spinal Fractures and Injuries
A fractured or injured spine can also cause chronic back pain. Asteroid injection or natural healing might be able to address your symptoms, but if they are not helping, surgery is an option to consider. Spinal fractures or injuries can also result in nerve compression, which causes pain, tingling, and paralysis in the legs and back problems such as bone spurs, herniated discs, or osteoporosis. The pain resulting from these conditions usually requires surgical decompression.
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine becomes curved to one side. This can result in back pain, as well as leg and foot pain. In these cases, surgery might be needed to align the spine and improve your quality of life. A fusion surgery might be recommended to address back pain, allowing you to move around more freely. Once the fusion has healed, you can perform exercises that promote mobility and flexibility of your spine and back.
It is important to be aware of the signs that might suggest a need for spine surgery. This can help in assessing the severity of your symptoms and the progress you are making. However, spine surgeries should not be taken lightly since they entail risks. So you should consult with a professional after carefully evaluating your symptoms to come up with the right treatment plan.