Low back pain can be debilitating and detrimental to your quality of life. Your lumbar spine, or lower back, is an attachment point for various muscles in your body that allow you to accomplish movements such as flexion, extension, rotation, and sidebending. Because this structure is complex and frequently used, it is highly susceptible to injury.
At Barrington Orthopedics, our highly-trained, qualified specialists can provide you with the relief you need from lower back pain. Our team will work with you to diagnose your condition and discuss your treatment options so you can get back to the activities you enjoy without discomfort or lack of mobility. Here are a few ways lower back pain can be treated:
If you’re struggling with back pain that is keeping you from the activities you enjoy, we are here to help. Schedule your first consultation with the team at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists today. If you’re in an emergency situation, visit the Immediate Care Clinic at our Schaumburg, IL location.
Surgery for low back pain should only be considered when nonsurgical treatment options have been tried and have failed. It is best to try nonsurgical options for 6 months to a year before considering surgery.
In addition, surgery should only be considered if you doctor can pinpoint the source of your pain.
Surgery is not a last resort treatment option. Some patients are not candidates for surgery, even though they have significant pain and other treatments have not worked. Some types of chronic low back pain simply cannot be treated with surgery.
Spinal fusion is essentially a “welding” process. The basic idea is to fuse together the painful vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone.
Spinal fusion eliminates motion between vertebral segments. It is an option when motion is the source of pain. For example, your doctor may recommend spinal fusion if you have spinal instability, a curvature (scoliosis), or severe degeneration of one or more of your disks. The theory is that if the painful spine segments do not move, they should not hurt.
Fusion of the vertebrae in the lower back has been performed for decades. A variety of surgical techniques have evolved. In most cases, a bone graft is used to fuse the vertebrae. Screws, rods, or a “cage” are used to keep your spine stable while the bone graft heals.
The surgery can be done through your abdomen, your side, your back, or a combination of these. There is even a procedure that is done through a small opening next to your tailbone. No one procedure has been proven better than another.
The results of spinal fusion for low back pain vary. It can be very effective at eliminating pain, not work at all, and everything in between. Full recovery can take more than a year.
This procedure involves removing the disk and replacing it with artificial parts, similar to replacements of the hip or knee.
The goal of disk replacement is to allow the spinal segment to keep some flexibility and maintain more normal motion.
The surgery is done through your abdomen, usually on the lower two disks of the spine.