6 Reasons to Consider Back Surgery
Nine bone segments in the pelvic region begin as separate vertebrae in all babies. These nine bone segments fuse during adolescence and eventually form the sacrum and the coccyx. Without including these, the rest of the adult spine contains 24 vertebrae, which are grouped into three regions:
- Cervical: This region is more commonly known as the neck and contains seven cervical vertebrae.
- Thoracic: This region is more commonly known as the middle back and contains 12 thoracic vertebrae.
- Lumbar: This region is more commonly known as the lower back and contains five lumbar vertebrae.
Doctors who focus on cervical and thoracic surgery concentrate on theses two areas, not the lumbar vertebrae. As one of the most basic parts of musculoskeletal system, back and neck pain and injury contribute to the 440 million days of work that Americans miss because of musculoskeletal injuries. In fact, 25% of Americans have a musculoskeletal impairment. These disorders are so problematic that they cost the country nearly $850 billion a year. In some cases, the decision to consult with a cervical and thoracic spine surgeon can help patients achieve the following:
- An increase in activity - If back pain has severely limited your activities, it might be time to consult with brain and spine surgeons to see if they can help you find relief.
- Better physical fitness - Carrying extra weight does not help any health condition, including back and neck pain. Exercising, however, can seem impossible if back pain limits your movement.
- Decreased need for pain medicine and fewer side effects - Strong pain medications used to seek comfort from back problems can create additional problems. The side effects of the most potent pain medications can include tiredness, nausea, and, in some cases, addiction. A spine surgeon can help patients evaluate the possibilities of reducing the needed pain medication by a spinal surgery.
- Enhanced mood - Brain and spine physicians can also provide a completely new outlook on life. Through surgery, your back pain may be significantly decreased or erased. Once the burden of non-stop pain is lifted or reduced, many patients and their families notice an improved mood and outlook on life.
- Return to work - Inactivity and unemployment can begin a cycle that is difficult to stop. A back surgeon may be able to help you return to work after back pain or injury has left you unable to work in the past.
- Increased work productivity - Minimally invasive lower back surgery can be the difference between non-productive and successful days at work. Whether your job is sitting a desk much of the day or operating heavy equipment on a factory warehouse floor, consulting with a neurosurgeon may provide you the opportunity to be productive at work again.
Spine surgery, like many other medical fields, is advancing every year. It may now be possible to treat conditions that once seemed inoperable. Through the research and development of an artificial cervical disc, for example, doctors are now able to treat more patients and provide better results.