The Lowdown on Low Back Pain
(and Other Aches)

 

How much conservative care is enough before surgery?

Studies have shown that most people will get better from neck or back injuries within about six weeks. Statistically, if you do not even begin to notice an improvement in that time, you may need to think about surgery. See a doctor who specializes in the spine. The first surgery done for most neck and back problems is an injection. Epidural shots or nerve blocks work about 50% to 75% of the time, do not hurt, and carry little risk. If the shot doesn’t work, and you have a large herniated disc, we can now remove it using minimally invasive surgery. You often do not even need to stay in the hospital. The most common operations do not involve a fusion and work 95% of the time. If someone recommends a more major procedure, get a few opinions first.

 

 






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Last modified: 07/27/08