What others regard as ordinary low back pain can progress into chronic or acute back pain which might require surgery if not addressed early on with non-surgical treatment methods such as therapy, pain medication, etc. Chronic back pain may cause a patient severe disruption in his or her usual daily activities. The spine surgeon may recommend surgery in order to restore the patient’s functions. And there are two options – one is the traditional open back surgery and the other one is the less invasive approach on spine surgery. But back or spine surgery of any type can be life-changing. The surgery can improve the quality of life of the patient by repairing the damage to the spinal column. The patient’s pain will also be lessened.
For some patients, they may be at risk of developing other health complications especially if the procedure is the traditional one where the risk of infection is high and blood loss could trigger other problems. When traditional surgery is performed, long and large incisions are made and the muscles are stripped to allow the spine surgeon to gain access to the problematic spine area. Depending on the patient’s physical condition, such incisions may take longer to heal and that could result to some other serious health problems.
Spine surgery using less invasive approach is a low risk procedure. Spine surgeons are more approving of it because of the numerous benefits it gives the patient. If it’s less invasive, it means that there are only small incisions, which are less than an inch. Wounds this size will not present any problem healing compared to long and large incisions. Endoscopic spine surgery uses less invasive techniques and small surgical instruments to facilitate the precise treatment of the affected spine area without cutting and stripping soft tissues and muscles. While there is a risk that a patient can develop infection at the surgical site as in any surgery, the risk is low compared to traditional open back surgery. Same is true with bleeding although it is rarely seen in endoscopic spine surgery.
Back pain is an inevitable occurrence as this can be caused by one’s posture, other medical condition or disease, poor body mechanics. People living a sedentary life would often feel pain whenever they overdo something. As people grow old, the chances of having low back pain become higher. Unfortunately, some older people with chronic back pain may not be physically prepared or qualified for an open back surgery. Their frail body condition may not allow them the lengthy surgical procedure. The good news is that in lieu of traditional open back surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery is another option to consider, with less risks and complications. This approach also allows the patient to resume normal activities sooner than the other type of surgery.
Back pain is considered chronic if they occur without improvement for more than three months. At this stage, the cause of the pain may already be difficult to determine as a lot of other factors may have contributed to its worsening. Hence, every patient with back pain should be observant and seek help from the spine surgeon in order to properly identify what is causing the pain and what is the appropriate treatment approach it needs.