Lumbar disc replacement advices from Serge Obukhoff? Why would I need to see a neurosurgeon? In most cases, your primary healthcare provider or your neurologist will refer you to see a neurosurgeon if you have a neurological condition that requires or would benefit from an in-depth assessment. Neurosurgeons have extensive knowledge about your brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and spine, and the conditions that can affect them. Just because your healthcare provider recommends you see a neurosurgeon, that doesn’t necessarily mean surgery is around the corner. Instead, it means you’ll receive a comprehensive neurological exam, a review of your symptoms and medical history, and detailed diagnostic imaging to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. From there, your neurosurgeon — and in some cases, other specialist providers — will determine and discuss the best treatment options for you, whether that’s a nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment or a combination of both. Find even more info at Serge Obukhoff MD.
LLIF is a fusion during which the surgeon makes a small incision on the person’s side, under their ribs to approach the spine from a lateral direction. This allows the surgeon to perform a spinal fusion without disrupting the muscles of the spine. The LLIF procedure may be accompanied by another procedure that is fairly common, percutaneous instrumentation of the spine. In this procedure, the surgeon places rods and screws between the muscle fibers, often using computer navigation or intraoperative X-ray as opposed to removing the muscles from the spine as is done with traditional spinal fusion surgery. When possible, we seek to utilize a minimally invasive approach, if it is an appropriate option.
Most pain in the lower back can be treated without surgery. In fact, surgery often does not relieve the pain; research suggests that 20 to 40 percent of back surgeries are not successful. This lack of success is so common that there is a medical term for it: failed back surgery syndrome. Nonetheless, there are times when back surgery is a viable or necessary option to treat serious musculoskeletal injuries or nerve compression. A pain management specialist can help you decide whether surgery is an appropriate choice after making sure you have exhausted all other options.
Surgery is a controlled trauma. Therefore, we aim to maximize the benefit for the patient while minimizing the trauma of surgery as much as possible. We implement leading surgical techniques and technology as appropriate, and our patients benefit from our surgeons’ academic research to further both minimally invasive and complex spine surgery procedures. We treat the entire spectrum of spinal disorders, ranging from sciatica and cervical radiculopathy to complex brain and spine cancers. Patients also come to us for issues related to scoliosis (curvature of the spine), degenerative disc disease (arthritis of the spine), and patients who have spinal stability problems which are associated with back or neck pain with or without arm or leg pain.
Some factors to consider: Many of your options will involve medications such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and local anesthetics. Sometimes more than one drug will be taken. This multimodal therapy can improve pain control while limiting opioid use. Opioids should be used with care to avoid addiction and manage side effects, some of which can be life-threatening. Alternative or complementary methods of pain relief that do not involve medicines should also be discussed.