Comprised of 24 small bones (vertebra), the spine is considered to be one of the most important structures of the human body. Considering that the spine contains all the nerves that interconnect the muscles and sensory organs throughout the body to the brain, it’s not a stretch to understand that almost any part of the body can affected by conditions of the spine. The most seemingly insignificant issues with the spinal column can actually have a major impact on quality of life.
Low back pain is one of the most frequent reasons patients see their primary care physicians. According to the American Spinal Decompression Society, low back pain affects 80% of the population at any given time. Persons at either end of the activity scale—those that lead sedentary lives vs. those who engage in manual labor—are the most likely to develop back problems. Although back pain can occur at any juncture in life, it is most prevalent after 30 years of age.
The Big Decision: When Should You Consider Back Surgery?
It’s all about balance. Most medical professionals in any specialty will recommend evaluating the risks involved with a surgical procedure against the potentially positive outcome of said procedure.
When damage to the spine is severe, surgery may be the best—or most realistic—option for returning to a normal life. The advice of a highly trained, board-certified surgeon (or surgeons) is the only way to determine if surgery is absolutely necessary. With that in mind, following are seven signs that may indicate that it’s time for you to start asking questions.
You Are No Longer Enjoying Life
If you’re sitting things out on the sidelines, unable to participate in life, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Pain and limited mobility can considerably hinder a person’s ability to enjoy life. However, you have options, and minimally invasive spine surgery may provide the relief that you need and deserve.
Although it is completely normal to experience loss of flexibility, and sometimes mobility, with age, not being able to function as per the usual may indicate serious problems. If your mobility has diminished, it’s wise to seek consultation and treatment to ward off future complications.
Your Condition is Not Improving
Progressive spinal conditions, such as osteoporosis, tend to get worsen over time. You should consult a specialist to monitor your condition on a regular basis, and discuss options for the potential inevitability of a downturn. Knowing what resources are available will certainly help you make an informed decision about your treatment—and your life.
Other Treatments Aren’t Successful
The vast majority of ethical medical professionals would avoid recommending surgery unless absolutely necessary. When nonsurgical treatment has not proven to be successful, it may be time to consider minimally invasive spine surgery.
Scoliosis and Kyphotic Deformities
Spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis create extreme curvatures of the spine. While interim measures such as physical therapy and braces are effective in the early stages, spine surgery is frequently necessary for relief.
Severe Injury to the Spine
While the majority of patients with spine problems, and their physicians, have the luxury of time to determine the best course of action, traumatic injury to the spine presents a situation where decisions need to be made quickly and accurately. When there is severe injury, spine surgery may be the best option for continuing a normal life.
Potential Nerve Damage
When spine conditions cause damage to nerves, permanent disability is possible. Common signs of nerve damage include numbness and/or tingling in the legs and feet. Bowel or bladder incontinence may be indicators of more severe problem.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Do you have questions about whether spine surgery is your best option? Dr. Kornel can analyze your individual situation and provide you with answers. He specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures that significantly reduce the trauma associated with surgery while increasing the speed of patients’ recovery.
Visit http://brainandspinesurgeon.com or call (914) 351-3600 to learn more about Dr. Kornel and how his expertise can benefit you.