2 Common Neurosurgical Operations for Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common medical issues dealt with in adults. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a massive 80% of adults will have lower back pain at some point in life. Issues such as bulging discs, a pinched nerve, and degenerative disc disease can all be culprits for this kind of pain and can result in a visit to a back specialist or even in neurosurgery. Fortunately modern medicine provides multiple options for people suffering from these ailments, two of the most popular being lumbar fusion and spinal cord stimulation.
Lumbar Fusion and When It Is Needed
A common back problem that can sometimes heal on its own is bulging discs. A bulging disc is what occurs when the intervertebral disc bulges out between the vertebrae and can cause further issues such as a pinched nerve or sciatica. If the bulging is minor it can heal on its own with time and care, but more severe cases may call for a neurosurgical operation. The majority of bulging discs (90% of them to be exact) occur in the lower back, which is where lumbar fusion comes in. Lumbar fusion is the permanent connecting of two or more bones in the spine and helps to rid the patient of the painful motion between vertebrae. This isn’t always necessary, but in about 10% of bulging disc cases surgery is the only way to relieve pain and loss of function.
Neurosimulators and Their Benefits
One of the more innovative treatments for back pain is the implantation of a neurosimulator, also referred to as spinal cord stimulation. This particular neurosurgical operation has less to do with the actual spine and more to do with the nerves in your back. It is a device that stimulates nerves in areas where you are feeling pain, masking and reducing that pain with electric pulses that keep it from reaching your brain. This type of operation can be beneficial for many different kinds of back issues including degenerative disc disease.
Do You Need a Neurosurgical Operation?
If you’ve struggled greatly with back pain it is possible that neurosurgery might be right for you. You can start with a visit to your personal doctor who can assess your symptoms and then help you find a neurosurgeon in your area. There are many options out there, including the ones talked about above, and you do not have to suffer with back pain for good.