Low back pain is one of the most common complaints among patients at The Center. Between 60% and 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. One of our highly trained neurosurgeons recently gave a talk to a group of golfers explaining the most common surgeries, how long it takes to return to activities, and back injury prevention tips. If you have tried conservative options like physical therapy or injections for your low back pain without relief, read on.
A high percentage of people will have low back and leg pain (sciatica) caused by a herniated disk. Also called a slipped or ruptured disk, a herniated disk most often occurs in your lower back. A lumbar discectomy is one of the most common procedures performed by our neurosurgeons. It is an outpatient procedure and typical patients can return to activity within three months. Watch this three-minute video for more information.
Vertebral Compression Fracture
A vertebral compression fracture, most often caused from osteoporosis, occurs in nearly 700,000 patients each year. The symptoms include a rounded back and low back pain that often gets worse after sitting or standing for long periods. A doctor will confirm the diagnosis with imaging studies and a bone density test. Sometimes people with a vertebral compression fracture get better after 4-6 weeks without specific treatment. But often, severe pain leads people to consider surgery to treat this. Kyphoplasty is another common outpatient procedure. After surgery, patients can go back to all their normal activities of daily living as soon as possible, with no restrictions. To learn more about the procedure and view a case study, watch this five-minute video.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Another common cause of low back pain is lumbar spinal stenosis. It most often occurs in adults over 50 years old. Symptoms include low back pain, pain in buttocks or legs (sciatica), and a reduction of pain with sitting. If nonsurgical treatment options are unsuccessful, our neurosurgeons commonly perform decompressive lumbar laminectomies, which helps open up the spinal canal and give immediate back pain relief. This surgery is done in a hospital, typically with several overnight stays. There is another device that is minimally invasive for this condition, called an X-stop device. Watch this video to learn about the risks and benefits of a laminectomy and an X-stop device.