An educational read to know more on who might be the candidates for spine surgery and would benefit the most from it.
Back pain has innumberable causes which differ with age groups. The common factors for back pain in all age group are:
- Poor posture
- Prolonged sitting
- Lack of exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Alcohol Consumption
- Overenthusiastic unsupervised gym.
There are patients who also present with a history of fall, trauma, fever with back pain. These patients need more detailed evaluation of their problem. Back pain per se when associated with radiculopathy/Nerve pains radiating to the lower limbs should be investigated in details.
Patients complaining of on/off back pain with or without consistent radiculopathy are usually treated conservatively till there is :
- No relief of symptoms
- Aggrevation of symptoms despite treatment
- Addition of a new symptom while on treatment
- Persistant symptoms (usually >3 months)
The candidates who usually benefit most from surgery are those who meet the following criteria:
- Exact clinical and radiological co-relation.
- Consistent symptoms not improving with conservative treatment
- Acute onset of severe symptoms after a typical incident
- Timely consultation follwed by intervention
- Educated patient regarding symptoms & post surgery expectations
Radiculopathy/ radiating pain in the leg is the most common indication of surgery. The second most common indication is severe back pain. Thorough investigation is important to rule out the exact cause of symptoms and patient selection is of utmost importance.