Are you considering pursuing spinal surgery? The first step is getting an evaluation from a primary care physician. Some people make surgical decisions quickly without trying physical therapies. When a cervical disc replacement is conducted without a clear source, the results can be dissatisfying. That’s why you should work with your health care team to determine the best course of action. Here are the reasons why you might want spinal surgery.
To stabilize the spine
A healthy spine provides support and protection to the body. An unstable spine does not maintain its natural form under normal conditions. This means that it can no longer hold the muscles, ligaments, and bones. If the symptoms progress to intractable leg pain or back pain, spinal surgery may be necessary. This can be done by infusing the unstable parts of the spine.
To take the pressure off the nerves
Some conditions like spinal stenosis or disc herniation can lead to numbness, pain, muscle weakness, or more severe symptoms. Spinal surgery is required to avoid permanent impairment.
To realign the crooked spine
Some conditions like flat-bone syndrome and scoliosis can affect the natural curvature of the spine. While such conditions can be managed through physical therapy, there are times when spinal curvature reaches a certain degree. The same applies to kyphosis if the symptoms cannot be removed through non-operative measures.
Spinal fusion connects more than two bones. It can help to relieve pain and stability to the spinal structure. This procedure will also eliminate the painful motion of the injured disc.
Overgrowth of bone
Osteoarthritis can affect the hinge joints of the spinal column – this can reduce the space for the nerves to pass through the openings. Other times, raptured or bulging discs can affect spine function. A cervical disc replacement can remove the damaged disc that is pressing on the spinal cord.
A good candidate for disc replacement should have no prior major surgery on the spine.
If you need surgery, the timing matters
Spinal surgery isn’t a rush. If you have herniated or slipped discs, you can wait up to 6 weeks before the surgery works. During this time, you can evaluate whether you need other conservative treatments like physical therapy and spinal injections. However, if you have unrelenting pain, your surgeon can recommend surgery immediately. If you have any doubts, you can seek a second opinion. All the relevant variables must be addressed to determine the most effective approach.
A qualified spine specialist will diagnose your problem and then determine whether surgery is warranted or not. He will weigh the benefits and potential downsides of the surgery.