Spine Surgery

August 8, 2016

The Five S’s of Severe Spine Pain and How Surgery Helps


Certain conditions can cause severe spine pain that is serious enough to keep you from the physical actitivies you enjoy. Here are the basics on these conditions and the types of spine surgery that can provide you with pain relief.

Injuries, structural abnormalities, and gradual wear and tear can lead to the development of conditions that cause severe spine pain. When this pain does not respond to nonsurgical forms of treatment and interferes with your everyday activities, spine surgery can help ease your pain and get you back to living life on your own terms.

1. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction occurs when one of the joints in your lower back becomes inflamed due to injuries or wear and tear from arthritis or other conditions. This condition can cause severe pain in your lower back, especially when you stand up.

Surgery for sacroiliac joint dysfunction is done when other forms of treatment do not provide relief. Surgery for this condition involves fusing the bones around the affected joint with implants and pins to prevent abnormal movements.

2. Sciatica
Sciatica is pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs through the lower back, hip, buttocks, and leg becomes inflamed from a herniated disc, bone spur, or another condition that pinches the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, severe spine pain that moves from the lower back to the buttocks and leg on the affected side. Spine surgery for sciatica, such as a partial discectomy, involves removing part of a herniated disc to relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. Surgery for bone spurs involves removing the growths that are pressing on your sciatic nerve.

3. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis occurs when the open space in the spine becomes narrow due to a herniated disc, spinal injuries, or bone overgrowth. This condition can cause severe spine pain in the lower back (lumbar spine), or in the neck (cervical spine).

Surgical procedures for spinal stenosis include cervical laminectomy with fusion and posterior lumbar laminectomy with fusion. A laminectomy involves removing part of the bone to ease pressure on the spinal cord. The affected bones are sometimes fused together for added stability.

4. Spinal Fractures
Spinal fractures occur when one or more spinal bones break due to trauma or a condition that weakens the bones, such as osteoarthritis. Fragments from the affected bones can irritate nerves in the surrounding area, causing severe spine pain.

Surgery is done when spinal fractures are unable to heal on their own with the use of braces and other nonsurgical treatments. Procedures for spinal fractures involve removing damaged bone and any parts of the affected bones that are pressing on the spinal cord. The spine is then stabilized with metal rods or screws as the damaged bones heal.

5. Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a spinal bone pushes forward and puts pressure on the bone under it. This condition can develop due to wear and tear on spinal bones and cartilage or from bone diseases or injuries to the spine. Spondylolisthesis can cause mild to severe spine pain, as well as stiffness.

Surgery for spondylolisthesis is typically done when this condition causes severe spine pain that does not get better with nonsurgical treatments. In some cases, a laminectomy is done first in order to remove part of the bone that is putting pressure on nerves in the affected area. Spinal fusion is then done to provide the spine with stability as it heals.

If your life is being negatively impacted by severe spine pain, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877) 918-7020for an appointment. Our renowned spine surgeons will evaluate your condition and recommend the most effective treatment.

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