Herniated disc surgery advices from Serge Obukhoff? Why would I need to see a neurosurgeon? In most cases, your primary healthcare provider or your neurologist will refer you to see a neurosurgeon if you have a neurological condition that requires or would benefit from an in-depth assessment. Neurosurgeons have extensive knowledge about your brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and spine, and the conditions that can affect them. Just because your healthcare provider recommends you see a neurosurgeon, that doesn’t necessarily mean surgery is around the corner. Instead, it means you’ll receive a comprehensive neurological exam, a review of your symptoms and medical history, and detailed diagnostic imaging to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. From there, your neurosurgeon — and in some cases, other specialist providers — will determine and discuss the best treatment options for you, whether that’s a nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment or a combination of both. Discover additional details at https://www.zocdoc.com/doctor/serge-obukhoff-md.
LLIF is a fusion during which the surgeon makes a small incision on the person’s side, under their ribs to approach the spine from a lateral direction. This allows the surgeon to perform a spinal fusion without disrupting the muscles of the spine. The LLIF procedure may be accompanied by another procedure that is fairly common, percutaneous instrumentation of the spine. In this procedure, the surgeon places rods and screws between the muscle fibers, often using computer navigation or intraoperative X-ray as opposed to removing the muscles from the spine as is done with traditional spinal fusion surgery. When possible, we seek to utilize a minimally invasive approach, if it is an appropriate option.
When should I consider back surgery? According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the following conditions may be candidates for surgical treatment: Herniated or ruptured disks, in which one or more of the disks that cushion the bones of the spine are damaged, Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, Spondylolisthesis, in which one or more bones in the spine slip out of place, vertebral fractures caused by injury to the bones in the spine or by osteoporosis, Degenerative disk disease, or damage to spinal disks as a person gets older. In rare cases, back pain is caused by a tumor, an infection, or a nerve root problem called cauda equina syndrome. In these cases, NIAMS advises surgery right away to ease the pain and prevent more problems.
How do you know when you need spine surgery? When someone comes to us with extremity symptoms, we almost always suggest they first get an evaluation with their primary care physician. If a person is experiencing low back pain or neck pain, we will usually watch them over time and encourage them to maintain good, stable physical activity to see if the issue resolves. If the issue is not resolving with physical activity, over the counter treatments, or pain management and anti-inflammatory medication, the next step would be to see a doctor for an evaluation.
Some factors to consider: Many of your options will involve medications such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and local anesthetics. Sometimes more than one drug will be taken. This multimodal therapy can improve pain control while limiting opioid use. Opioids should be used with care to avoid addiction and manage side effects, some of which can be life-threatening. Alternative or complementary methods of pain relief that do not involve medicines should also be discussed.