If a severely pinched nerve, a compressed spinal cord or instability in the spine causes your back problem, then your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgery may be indicated if you have symptoms of nerve damage including pain radiating down the legs or arms; pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs; or a loss of bowel or bladder control.
Surgery for back pain is considered only when non-surgical options have failed and when the doctor can pinpoint the source of your pain. Some chronic forms of low back pain sometimes cannot be treated with surgery.
Back surgery is used for these conditions:
- Herniated disk
- Disk degeneration
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing)
- Infections or tumors
- Spinal deformity
Back surgery techniques are improving. Today, your doctor may be able to use less invasive surgery techniques to treat your condition. It’s important for you to talk with your doctor about your options and which procedures are recommended and why.