When will your doctor recommend surgery for lower back pain?

Lower back pain can be a minor, temporary inconvenience, or it can be intensely painful and debilitating. It can also keep you from doing the things you love and enjoying your life. You deserve to live a pain-free life, so talk to your doctor about the treatment options that may help you. Depending on factors unique to you, you might be referred to an orthopedic surgeon at The Spine Program at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

When you’ve already tried other back pain treatments
Usually, back surgery isn’t recommended as the first course of treatment. The surgeon will consider whether you’ve already tried nonsurgical treatments, like taking prescribed medications, staying active and working with a physical therapist. Patients who are overweight may also find that losing weight lessens back pain.

Discuss the other treatments you’ve tried. Ask the surgeon whether there are any other nonsurgical options still left available to you. If not, then it may be time to consider surgery.

When your doctor determines that surgery can help
Back surgery can only help you if it’s able to correct or minimize the underlying cause of your pain. For example, if your back pain is caused by a problem with an intervertebral disc , then it’s possible that disc replacement surgery may help. You can hear more about this surgery when you watch the accompanying video, which features an orthopedic surgeon who treats patients at Los Robles Regional.

When you’re healthy enough to tolerate surgery
Given that surgery is intended to improve one’s health, it seems counterintuitive that good overall health would be a requirement for having surgery. But not everyone is healthy enough to withstand the stress of surgery. Your doctor can make this decision after reviewing your full medical history and evaluating your overall lifestyle.

You may be asked to make some changes before having surgery. If you smoke, you’ll likely be asked to quit. This is because smoking increases the risk of complications both during and after surgical procedures.

You’ll receive personalized, compassionate care as a patient at The Spine Program at Los Robles Regional Medical Center . Our team of surgical specialists genuinely care about your quality of life, and will work to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. You can request a referral by speaking with a registered nurse in Thousand Oaks at (877) 888-5746.

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