Lumbar Back Surgery
Procedures on the lumbar spine are some of the most common forms of surgery performed today in the US. The reasons for these operations vary enormously, with spinal stenosis being a major indication for a number of patients having back surgery. Other conditions, such as scoliosis, spinal fracture, ligament calcification, and even cosmetic considerations (back-scoop surgery) can all lead a patient to have a surgical procedure in the lumbar back. For many patients these surgeries may be considered unnecessary and, unfortunately, many fail to effectively relieve the condition and the patients’ symptoms. Understanding the options for lumbar back surgery, the risks, benefits, and alternative treatment possibilities, can all save a patient from invasive medical procedures and protracted recovery.
The number one reason a patient will undergo lumbar back surgery is the existence of spinal stenosis in the lower back. This is a condition where the spaces in the spinal canal have become obstructed or narrowed leading to pressure being placed on the spinal nerves and the spinal cord. Compression of blood vessels, and problems with the intervertebral discs, spinal ligaments, and other important tissues and structures can also be both the cause and effect of spinal stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis is an extremely common condition suffered by many with symptoms ranging from mild, occasional aching in the back or the buttocks, to acute shooting pain down into the feet, numbness, weakness, mobility problems, bowel and bladder incontinence, and paralysis.
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