No matter what the cause of your back pain, it can change many things in your life. Your physical activity may be limited, you may be unable to sleep well, and walking, sitting, or standing may be uncomfortable. Any one of these can also affect you mental and emotional states. It may change your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. If you have tried all the different medications and exercises recommended by your orthopedic doctor with no results, it is probably time to consider having surgery. Here are a few of the options you may have, depending on your condition.
Slipped or Herniated Discs
When one of the discs in your back has moved, bulged, or ruptured, it usually presses on one of the nerves going through your spinal column, causing pain. To alleviate this pain, an orthopedic surgeon can perform a lumbar decompression. During this procedure the doctor will remove either part of the bone or disc to stop the pressure on the nerve root. You may wish to talk with the surgeon about having an artificial disc put in place of the old one too.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease not only causes pain in your back, it also involves changes in the discs that limit mobility. An orthopedic surgeon will usually suggest fusing the discs together to keep them from moving about and causing pain. While this will limit mobility, it often relieves the pain to such a degree that you will be able to move better than before having them fused. By fusing the discs together, and in place, it prevents them from pushing against any nerves.
If the joints and bones in your back are weakening and disintegrating due to osteoarthritis, your doctor may suggest having the discs replaced. You may also be able to use a gone graft to repair some of the damage. The new discs will keep your spine in alignment and keep the discs from bulging or pressing into the nerves.
If you are not sure you are ready to have surgery done to your spine, you can still keep trying other methods of pain relief. However, talk to an orthopedic surgeon to find out what new procedures are being tested. You may feel you want to wait a few years until something new has been perfected. Either way, you do not have to suffer with back pain your whole life.