Taking Your Shooting Back Pain Seriously

Back pain is so common today that many consider the condition a badge of honor. Yes, working or sitting for long hours can cause sore backs and necks, but the pain should not be chronic. Chronic shooting back pain can be a sign of a spinal condition like a herniated disc. Herniated discs are one of the reasons for the spike in spinal surgeries like microdiscectomy. Is surgery always a solution for a herniated disc?

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Here’s what’s happening with your disc

The spine has 33 bones called vertebrae. These bones protect the spinal cord and the nerves that branch out from each direction. Between each pair of vertebrae are fibrous discs. These discs contain a soft inner nucleus and help with flexibility and shock absorption. Due to wear and tear, injury, or years of poor posture, the discs can shift out of place. In some cases, the soft nucleus can rupture. Herniated discs press on surrounding nerves causing pain and discomfort.

Do you have these symptoms?

Some cases can progress to a range of symptoms that impact the quality of life. For instance., herniated discs in the lower back region can press on the sciatic nerve. The result is sciatica, a shooting nerve pain down one leg. In time, or if left untreated, muscle weakness, reduced bladder control, or even sexual dysfunction can occur. These are all reasons to seek help from a doctor or orthopedic surgeon immediately.

Surgery is not the first step

Can a shooting pain from a herniated disc mean immediate surgery? Well, not exactly. There is a range of non-surgical treatment options available. In fact, surgeons prefer to try non-surgical treatments for many months first before resorting to surgery. Anti-inflammatory medication, temperature therapy, and physical therapy are the first lines of treatment. If that fails, other treatment includes stronger medication, steroid injections, or radiofrequency ablation. In most cases, a combination of these treatments can make a herniated disc asymptomatic.

Is microdiscectomy the answer?

Unfortunately, some back pain sufferers will need more than the mentioned non-surgical options. The surgeon will suggest a microdiscectomy for chronic pain that does not seem to let up after months of therapy. Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove part of the disc that’s causing pain. Minimally invasive means small incisions so the patient can leave the same day, especially in an ASC. Opting for minimally invasive surgery also means faster recovery, lower infection rates, and higher success.

What to expect during surgery

After talking about the risks and requirements, the patient should be ready for surgery. The patient lies face down on the operating table. Based on the location of the herniated disc, the surgeon makes small incisions near the neck or lower back. Muscle and tissue are moved slightly to access the spine. Through one incision goes an endoscope. Endoscopes are long, narrow devices with a light and camera attached. The camera sends an image of the damaged disc to an external monitor. From there, the surgeon can insert other tools to remove parts of the disc that’s causing the issue. In some cases, a small piece of bone called the lamina is also removed.

Will it really work for me?

If the surgeon only removed a piece of the disc, the area is closed, and recovery starts. Patients take about 3 to 6 months to fully recover, along with pain management and light physical therapy. In essence, microdiscectomy has excellent surgical outcomes. Statistics show that the surgery has an over 80% success rate. There are risks with any surgical procedure, and some would not be eligible for minimally invasive surgery. Overall, the risks are rare compared to the success rates. This procedure is a viable solution for those who failed to get relief from conservative means.

Secure your back’s future

Spinal pain due to herniated discs can make simple tasks like sitting or standing difficult. If left unaddressed, the pain can weaken the surrounding areas, including limbs. The good news is that most cases respond well to non-surgical treatment. The disc will not necessarily repair naturally, but the treatment eliminates the pain. Unfortunately for some, surgery via microdiscectomy is the best option. Don’t ignore chronic back or neck pain and consult a spine specialist for relief.

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“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”

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“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

“Dr. Dedhia made everything clear and even scheduled an early follow-up appt so I could get back to work sooner.”
“The staff was very polite, they were excellent. They explained exactly what was going on.”

“Anesthesia staff was outstanding!”

“Everyone was friendly and the place was very clean.”

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“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”
“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”
“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”
“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”

“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

“I can’t say enough about Marcia and the entire team. The care I received was well beyond anything I could have expected.”

“Dr. Best…is the best!”
“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
“The nurses were very nice and caring!”
“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”
“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”
“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”

“Anesthesia staff was outstanding!”

“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”
“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”
“Efficiency of the staff. Courteous, friendly and caring attitude. Excellent office staff. Pleasant surroundings.”

“Amazing nurses, very caring and friendly and put both me and my son at ease.”

“I liked that it was so clean. Every staff member was pleasant and easy to talk with.”

“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”
“Efficiency of the staff. Courteous, friendly and caring attitude. Excellent office staff. Pleasant surroundings.”

“All staff were wonderful.”

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