Lumbar Back Surgery

Back Surgery Information

Lumbar Back Surgery for Chronic Lower Back Pain

One of the most debilitating aches of the body is chronic lower back pain. Once this suffering inflicts a patient, musculoskeletal problems will eventually surface. For instance, chronic lower back pain may cause one to be unable to perform his/her daily activities such as walking and it may restrict one’s bodily movements as well.

Degenerative arthritis in the lumbar spine is the common cause of chronic lower back pain. Chronic lower back pain leaves a patient crippled with extreme pain; lumbar back surgery is often utilized as treatment for this condition after all conservative methods have been exhausted (but were explicitly unsuccessful in providing relief to the patient). Lumbar back surgery is a collective term that refers to any type of surgical procedure done to the lumbar area of the spine.

The Two Forms of Lumbar Back Surgery

Lumbar Back Surgery can be further subdivided into two general types: spinal fusion and decompression, both are highly advanced and critical operations. Lumbar Spinal Fusion is the traditional surgery done to relieve pain in the lumbar spine, especially in cases of degenerative disc disease. This operation involves adding a bone graft to a certain spine area with an objective of promoting the growth of the graft between two vertebrae thus eventually creating a fusion. There are several approaches to this type of lumbar back surgery. Lumbar Spinal Fusion is designed to restrict or even stop the movement of a vertebral segment to decrease pain.

The other option, Lumbar Decompression Spine Surgery involves the removal of a tiny portion of either the bone over the nerve root or the disc material under the nerve root. In some cases, portions from both areas are removed. The removal of these portions should be able to provide enough space to the nerve root and promote its healing.

Lumbar Decompression Spine Surgery has two forms: microdiscectomy (microdecompression) and lumbar laminectomy (open decompression). Conditions that cause chronic back pain and necessitate Lumbar Decompression Spine Surgery are herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, spinal tumor (rare) and spinal stenosis.

Recovery after Lumbar Back Surgery

Just like in any other type of surgery, the recuperating period must be focused on managing the pain of the patient, preventing infection, and over-all promoting the recovery of the body organ involved so that the patient can eventually perform his or her activities of daily living.

During the course of the whole recovery period after lumbar back surgery, the patient is expected to cooperate with the different members of the health care team who are committed to his or her care. Usually, when the patient’s condition has already been stabilized post-surgery, he or she is allowed to go home but the care is still continued. The patient’s physical response to the surgery and his or her coping ability greatly influence his or her recovery.