Back surgery might be an option if conservative treatments haven’t worked and back pain is persistent and disabling. Back pain is sometimes associated with pain and/or numbness that goes down one or both arms or legs. These symptoms often are caused by compressed nerves in the spine and back surgery more predictably relieves associated pain and/or numbness that goes down one or both arms or legs.
Nerves may become compressed for a variety of reasons, including, disk problems (bulging or ruptured (herniated) disk) and overgrowth of bone which can occur in osteoarthritis of the spine.
Different types of back surgery include:
- Fusion. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in the spine. It can relieve pain by adding stability to a spinal fracture.
- Laminectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the bone overlying the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal and is performed to relieve nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis.
- Discectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the herniated portion of a disk to relieve irritation and inflammation of a nerve. Discectomy involves full or partial removal of the back portion of a vertebra (lamina) to access the ruptured disk.
- Artificial disks. Implanted artificial disks are a treatment alternative to spinal fusion for painful movement between two vertebrae due to a degenerated or injured disk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lumbar-decompression-surgery/