The Southeastern Spine Institute

How to tell if you really need back surgery

Not everyone needs back surgery in Charleston. The spine specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute understand this very well. In fact, they practice conservative spinal medicine, only resorting to surgery when nothing else works. At the same time, if you are experiencing back, arm or leg pain, you should come in for an examination.

You may find after an exam that you respond well to pain management procedures such as pain medicine, nerve blocks, anti-inflammatories, or steroid injections. You may find that a regimen of physical therapy can alleviate your symptoms.

Determine the Cause

Whether or not you need back surgery in Charleston at the Southeastern Spine Institute, you must discover the cause of your pain. The spine specialists will perform a thorough examination and take your medical history. They’ll ask about recent injuries and when the pain started. They may have you undergo diagnostic procedures like an MRI.

Once they understand the source of your pain, your spine doctor can then make a diagnosis. Only with a diagnosis can a treatment plan be developed. Following a conservative approach, the doctors at SSI will try non-invasive techniques first. Back surgery in Charleston may not be necessary if these conservative treatments work and continue to work.

Weigh the Benefits

Except in dire circumstances, usually involving an accident or injury, you can afford to wait before undergoing surgery. If you are treating the pain effectively and can resume a normal routine, you don’t need to rush into back surgery. A New England Journal of Medicine study found that delaying an operation would not do more damage.

There are other things to consider before surgery, such as the time you’ll need to recover, which can be as long as eight weeks. Back surgery in Charleston is something for which you should plan ahead as much as you can. Weigh the benefits of undergoing surgery now versus waiting until your symptoms get worse.

Stop Pain at the Source

Another study, this one by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, found that patients who did opt for surgery improved significantly. Patients reported a substantial reduction in the amount of pain and a marked improvement in their level of functionality. So surgery in the hands of experts like those at SSI is beneficial, when needed.

Back surgery in Charleston can eliminate your pain and other symptoms because it fixes the problem at its source. If you have degenerative disc disease, for example, surgery can repair the damage, thus easing your pain. To correct certain conditions, surgery does work.

Wait Until You’re Sure

Non-surgical procedures can help, and certainly won’t hurt, when you’re suffering with back pain. Even SSI medical doctors recommend that you try them first. Except in particularly dire circumstances, delaying back surgery will not make your condition worse.

But when nothing else is effective, prepare yourself for surgery. Eat a balanced diet. Exercise if you can. And set aside four to eight weeks when you will not have to do much physically taxing work. When you’re ready, let the spine specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute be your first choice for back surgery in Charleston.