The Vault

Did you know that 67% of people who had lower back pain spine surgery reported  that their spine surgeon involved them in the decision-making process. Not long ago, patients did not have the same access to information that they have now. But due to the fact that more information is available to us, patients nowadays are more involved in their healthcare plan than ever before. Discussing a plan of care when it comes to spine surgery is now a two-way conversation especially for cases when the pain will affect all aspects of a patient’s life.

Patients need to be informed of the whole spine surgery process only after conservative treatments failed to alleviate the pain. Surgery is undeniably a big step that can scare many patients, but living with chronic pain is never the better option. Surgery options may include:

  • Laminectomy – This is a procedure that removes the lamina, a portion of the vertebral bone. Since Laminectomy is minimally invasive, it only requires small incisions with the  back muscles pushed aside rather than cut and the parts of the vertebra adjacent to the lamina are left intact. A laminectomy is usually done to spinal stenosis patients.
  • Discectomy – This is a surgery that removes lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root that causes pain, weakness, or numbness.
  • Spinal fusion – This procedure  is a permanent joining of two or more vertebrae made to grow, or “fuse”, together.

Surgeons can greatly improve the quality of their medical decisions by informing and involving patients. Sometimes, there are patients that are afraid to ask questions. Remember that your plan of car becomes a one-way street when you don’t ask questions. There needs to be equal amounts of communication between patients and surgeons. Let yourself and your surgeon work together so you can go back to your productive, pain-free lifestyle.

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