If you have been experiencing back pain for some time, you may be wondering what your treatment options may be. You may be worried about the possibility of surgery. We understand that you may have a lot of questions about your procedure, and we are here to put your mind at ease and provide you with exceptional care from the moment you step into our Plano, TX office. At American Neurospine Institute, Dr. Panchal and his expert team are specialized in a range of surgical treatment options for spinal disorders.
How To Know If You Need Surgery
We always recommend our patients consult and undergo a thorough examination by their doctor to determine appropriate treatment options. Many spinal conditions can be treated non-surgically and involve medication, minimally invasive injection therapy, physical therapy, and home exercises. However, if your condition does not respond well to conservative treatment options or if your condition is severe, surgery may be recommended.
The type of surgery you have will depend on your condition, overall health, age, and risk factors. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment options for your needs.
Common Ailments We Treat
- Back and Neck Pain
- Chronic Back Pain
- Herniated Disc
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Open Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Traditionally, spinal surgery was performed as an open surgery meaning a long incision was made along the spine so that the surgeon could view and access the full anatomy of the spine. However, advances in medicine and technology enable surgeons to treat many spine conditions with minimally invasive techniques.
This is often accomplished by the use of computer-assisted imaging guidance. Images taken before surgery by a CT scan or X-ray are used along with real-time images during surgery to allow for a higher level of precision during the procedure.
Common Spinal Surgeries
- Disc Replacement – In cases where a herniated or degenerative disc needs to be removed completely, it is replaced with an artificial implant
- Discectomy – The removal of a herniated or degenerative disc. This removes pressure from the compressed nerves
- Laminectomy – Removal of part of the vertebra known as the laminae, this helps to increase space within the spinal canal and relieve pressure
- Laminotomy – Removal of part of the vertebra known as the lamina to relieve the pressure off the spinal canal. This procedure removes less bone compared to a laminectomy
- Spinal Fusion – Procedure designed to join to vertebrae to stabilize the portion of the spine and prevent bones from moving out of alignment
After surgery, you may be asked to stay overnight so that your condition can be monitored. Depending on your case, you may be required to wear a brace or cast to help stabilize the spine as it heals.
It is important to note that you will not be able to drive yourself home after surgery, so be sure to make arrangements beforehand. Please note that it may be a while before you can drive. If you are going to travel, even as a passenger, be sure to take frequent breaks and ask your health care provider for tips on how to minimize irritation and discomfort during long-distance travel.
Depending on the type of surgery, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a family member, close friend, or home nurse to assist you around the house. Some patients may need help with physical care, light chores, errands, and cooking.
Your recovery will vary depending on the type of surgery and your condition. However, a full recovery can take several months, so it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
Educating yourself is key to enabling you to feel confident and comfortable about what to expect and all the potential outcomes of the procedure. Understand that surgery may not fix everything. It can make a difference in how you feel and function, but it should not be considered a “cure-all”. Building up your core with physical therapy, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking are all beneficial to improving your condition, helping you to heal faster, and avoiding discomfort in the future.
For more information on spinal surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact our Plano, TX office today at (972) 806-1188.