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Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. Back pain may be constant or sporadic. Most of the time, back pain can be treated with home treatment, medication, or therapy. In some instances, however, back surgery is necessary.
Advancements in surgical techniques mean there are a number of surgeries that are performed on an outpatient basis, including:
Lumbar decompression and discectomy.
Lumbar microscopic decompression. This procedure is a fusionless, minimally invasive surgical technique for alleviating back and leg pain due to a herniated disk or bone spur in the lumbar spine. The procedure is performed as an outpatient. Full recovery typically takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Cervical decompression and discectomy.
Cervical microforaminotomy. This procedure is a fusionless, minimally invasive alternative to a traditional anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. This is the ideal procedure for a patient who has neck and arm pain on only one side due to a herniated disk or a bone spur. This procedure is performed as an outpatient. Full recovery typically takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
Cervical disk replacement
This procedure replaces a degenerative disk in the neck with an artificial disk. This is the ideal procedure for a patient who has more neck pain than arm pain, or pain in both arms due to a large central disk herniation. This procedure is performed as an outpatient. Full recovery from this procedure typically takes about 4-6 weeks.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
This procedure involves removing a degenerative cervical disk and replacing it with a bone graft and stabilizing the level with a titanium plate. This procedure is performed on patients suffering from an unstable degenerated cervical disk, and is performed as an outpatient. Full recovery typically takes 4-6 weeks.
Lumbar decompression and fusion
This procedure involves stabilizing the spine with titanium pedicles screws above and below the level of an unstable disk. This is the ideal procedure for someone who has instability of the spine, most often due to a condition called a spondylolisthesis. This procedure is performed as an outpatient. Full recovery typically takes 6-12 weeks.
This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting bone cement into a vertebral body that has a painful compression fracture. The procedure is done on an outpatient through a large needle and full recovery takes about 1 week.
There are many type of spinal injections that can help with painful disks and facet joints. These procedures are all done as an outpatient and recovery takes less than 24 hours. Interventional pain management doctors specialize in the full spectrum of spinal injections.
Spinal cord stimulators
Replace with new text: Spinal cord stimulators are a special type of implant that uses electrical impulses delivered to the spinal cord to help people with chronic leg and back pain. The procedure can be performed as an outpatient and full recovery typically takes 1-2 weeks.