All posts by Nick Zupancich

Do I Need Back Pain Surgery?

back pain surgeryBack pain is very common. Almost every person will experience some sort of back pain in their life. If you are experiencing back pain, you’re not alone. In the U.S., back pain is the most common type of chronic pain. While there are many remedies for dealing with back pain that do not involve back pain surgery, sometimes it is the only answer. Sometimes your doctor will recommend medication or therapy to ease the pain. Back pain surgery is a very serious procedure and it may be difficult for some to decide when or when not to get it.


There are many non-surgical remedies for back pain and a lot of times the pain will go away on its own. It is worth noting that most pain is from strains or sprains and they will heal on their own over time. Lower back pain is the most common form of back pain. A lot of times a doctor will just prescribe a medication or some sort of therapy. It’s also worth noting that exercise can help ease back pain. It’s always important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it will help with back pain. Even if the non-surgical remedies do not alleviate the pain, surgery is not always the answer. However, sometimes the pain is so severe or disabling medication and therapy are just not enough. A doctor will most likely make sure you have tried all non-surgical options before recommending surgery. A doctor would recommend looking into surgery if you have numbness in your legs or arms, issues walking, bowel control issues, infection in your spine, broken bone in your back, tumor located on your spinal cord, or a slipped disk.


A lot of times a surgeon will not recommend surgery. Sometimes a surgeon will do imaging tests to get a better idea if surgery will help. Doctors will sometimes also recommend waiting at least 6 weeks to see if the pain gets better on its own. The human body is very good at healing on its own. Spine surgery may be required when you have a compressed nerve from a disk problem or a bone that is overgrown.


If you ever have any doubts on your doctor’s opinion, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion. Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates is a great place to consult with a trusted doctor about your issues. It is worth noting that 70-90% of back surgeries result in pain relief for the patient. A patient should always consider how invasive the surgery is going to be. Some are much less serious than others.  As always please consult with your doctor before deciding on a procedure.


Please consult your doctor right away if you have tingling or numbing of arms or legs, fever, loss of function or severe pain that will not go away over time. Some other issues where you should consult your doctor right away are a slipped disk, infection in the spine, tumor on the spine, or a broken bone.