Make Pain a Thing of the Past with the help of a Spinal Cord Stimulator
Alternatives to Back Surgery
Chronic back, neck, and leg pain often points to a problem in the spine. From herniated discs to degenerative disc disease to spinal stenosis, there are many conditions that affect the bones and tissues in the nerve and spinal cord, and these conditions can cause chronic – sometimes debilitating pain that requires an immediate treatment.
Often the choice recommended by physicians is surgery. That is because orthopedic surgery does have success when it comes to addressing the delicate needs of the spine. But it is also not the only option. There are alternatives to back surgery that you may want to consider before undergoing (another) procedure.
What Alternatives to Back Surgery Are There?
Often a doctor will not prescribe any treatment until the patient has tried the most conservative options available, such as pain medication and physical therapy. But even if those fail, there may be other alternatives to surgery that may be considered. These include:
• Epidural Steroid Injections – Using a long needle and state of the art technology, a physician may place an injection directly into the inflamed area. The injection contains a mix of steroids (to reduce inflammation) and anesthetic (to numb the pain) that provides some quick, long term relief. Future injections are often needed, although some patients claim the pain is permanently reduced.
• Spinal Cord Stimulator – One of the most exciting technologies is the spinal cord stimulator. These user-controlled devices have wires that wrap around the spinal cord and disrupt pain messengers, so that the patient experiences a tingling sensation instead of chronic pain. Pain reduction may be as much as 70% or more, and the devices are easy to use, easy to control, and reversable. Spinal cord stimulators are also great choices after failed back surgery.
• Radiofrequency Lesioning – Radiofrequency lesioning in a minimally invasive procedure that essentially “burns” the nerve roots using heat from needles. By burning the nerve roots, they become unable to send pain signals to the brain.
These are only some of the different alternatives to back surgery that are available for the right patients. There are also medial branch blocks, Botox injections, and several other procedures for different types of pain. While minimally invasive options like spinal cord stimulators are often the best choice, there are other options out there that should be considered on a case by case basis.
For more information about non-surgical treatments, or to schedule a consultation, call Physician Partners of America, today.