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Back pain treatment
Two thirds of us will suffer from some form of back pain during our lives, but only very rarely does it mean we have something seriously wrong. Nineteen out of twenty cases of back pain can be attributed to simple lower back pain, caused by a range of sprains and strains that can be treated at home through developing a better posture, doing more exercise, or losing weight, etc.
However if the discomfort in your back does not get better after a few months, you may want to book an appointment with one of our orthopaedic surgeons to discuss possible causes and more targeted ways to reduce back pain.
The back is comprised of a complex system of interconnecting tendons, bones, ligaments, nerves, and muscles, and if continuous strain is exerted (even if only slight) it can result in chronic back pain. These issues can be solved without surgery, and the pain will go away after a few months.
Surgery on the back is a last resort and should only be considered if all other treatments have failed, and your daily life continues to be hampered by chronic back pain. Serious conditions such as cancer, a fractured or broken vertebra, or certain infections that do not respond to medicine can all be helped with back pain surgery, and are performed by a highly experienced orthopaedic surgeon.
Treating lower back pain
Most back surgery is performed in order to relieve a build-up of abnormal pressure on the nerves in the spine. Conditions that can cause unusual pressure include spinal stenosis, a prolapsed or herniated disc (commonly known as a “slipped disc”), and spondylolisthesis. If you are debilitated by back pain, London is a very good place to look for a qualified and experienced orthopaedic surgeon.
London Bridge Hospital has no less than thirty-six orthopaedic consultants specialising various areas of the musculoskeletal system. Low back pain relief is so important to patients suffering from chronic discomfort that it’s worthwhile arranging a consultation, even if you don’t want to have surgery. Upper back pain and low back pain can originate from a completely different basis, so a specialist may be able to give you valuable help in determining the cause of your problem and offering a solution. Our orthopaedic surgeons employ the latest technology and have been giving lower back pain relief through various techniques and surgeries for many years.
Back pain clinic
If you have back pain that doesn’t go away after treatment at home, or after trying various different solutions yourself, why not come to our back pain clinic by making an appointment with one of our surgeons? They can recommend various treatments, including epidural injections, spinal mobility exercises, acupuncture, TENS, as well as back surgery for the most serious cases.
Some common back surgery procedures
There are several different types of surgery that may be performed on the back, including:
This is performed if you have what’s commonly called a ‘slipped disc’ (medically termed a ‘prolapsed’ or ‘herniated’ disc). This is when one of the discs of cartilage that lies between your vertebrae is torn and has come out of place, and is pressing on a nerve causing pain. During a discectomy the part of the disc that is irritating the nerve will be removed, releasing you from the pain.
The lamina is a small part of your vertebra which can sometimes degrade and put pressure on the nerves causing pain (stenosis). A laminectomy is an operation to remove the lamina, situated at the rear of the vertebra, in order to relieve pressure on the nerves, or give the surgeon access to the spinal cord for further surgery, or to treat spinal injuries.
If the passageway in which the spinal nerves are situated has narrowed it can cause pain. A foraminotomy is a procedure to widen or enlarge the gap between the bones so that the nerves are not pinched and cease to cause pain.
- Spinal fusion
Sometimes known as ‘stabilisation surgery’ this is a procedure to remove the damaged cartilage disc or lamina and fuse the spine back together. The bones can be fused or linked using a number of methods, including bone grafts, screws, plates and pins, or a small cage.
- Disc replacement
If the cartilage in your spine has become warn or damaged and is causing continuous pain, this operation replaces the damaged disc with metal and plastic implants. An alternative to spinal fusion, a full disc replacement is a newer surgical method more often performed on younger patients
An operation used to treat patients with sever osteoporosis, compression fractures in the vertebra, tumours, and people with symptomatic vertebral haemangioma. During the operation the orthopaedic surgeon will inject liquid bone cement into the vertebra, reinforcing crumbling bone and causing the pain to stop.