Am I a good candidate for laser back surgery

In the past, both patients and doctors have been reluctant to turn to surgery to treat back pain. Surgical treatment was once very invasive and entailed a long recovery, causing even patients who needed surgery to avoid seeking treatment. In addition, doctors are often reluctant to recommend traditional back surgery except for the most extreme cases, leaving many people with back pain without treatment.

Fortunately, modern advances in technology are rapidly transforming many types of surgery. Laser back surgery is a prime example of this transformation. Unlike open back surgery, laser back surgery is minimally invasive. Instead of using scalpels to create a large, open wound on the spine, one or two small needles are inserted, and the surgery is performed using those small incisions. This greatly reduces recovery time as well as the risk of infection.

Laser spine surgery is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Since the procedure does not result in a large, painful wound, no prescription pain medication is required. Symptoms are usually relieved as the procedure takes place. Since patients experience a quick return to normal mobility and do not require heavy medication, it is usually possible to return to work in just one week, as compared to six weeks with traditional back surgery. Importantly, these benefits are achieved without sacrificing either effectiveness or safety - patients of both types of surgery tend to be equally satisfied with the results, but the risk of some complications is lower after laser back surgery.

With back surgery more safe and accessible than ever, more and more people with chronic back pain are taking control of their quality of life by seeking laser back surgery.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you have chronic back pain or related symptoms, you first need to obtain a diagnosis from your doctor. Using MRI scans and techniques such as selective injection of anesthesia, your physician will identify the underlying condition behind your pain.

Spinal conditions can manifest themselves many ways. Common symptoms include:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Leg and arm pain
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Muscle weakness

In general, pain accompanied by neurological symptoms (tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness) is considered more serious. However, any symptoms which affect your quality of life should be taken seriously and treated effectively.

Most spine conditions occur because tissue is pressing against the spinal cord, causing either pain or problems in the part of the body innervated by that area of the spinal cord. For example, bone spurs are small growths on the vertebrae which may press against the spinal cord and the nerves of the spine. Non-surgical treatments reduce inflammation or the amount of weight borne by the affected area, which can often relieve symptoms. Surgery removes the offending tissue from the affected area, curing the underlying condition.

Laser Spine Surgery

If conservative treatments fail, most routine back conditions can be treated with laser back surgery. Only your physician can tell you whether laser back surgery is right for you, but you may be a good candidate if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Herniated disc
  • Sciatica
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Stenosis
  • Pinched nerves

Even if you have been told that you are not a candidate for open back surgery by your physician, you may still be a good candidate for laser back surgery.

On the other hand, in very rare cases symptoms may be caused by a more serious condition, such as an autoimmune disease or tumor, which cannot be treated by laser back surgery. Such patients are referred to specialists for diagnosis and treatment.

While laser back surgery is not for everyone, it is highly effective at treating routine back conditions with minimal downtime. To schedule a consultation about your spinal condition, please contact the experts at the Datta Endoscopic Back Surgery and Pain Center by calling 347-380-9138.

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