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Conservative degenerative spine treatment versus surgery, which do you need?

Degenerative spine treatment options can fall into two basic categories: conservative therapies and surgery. Nonsurgical treatments — such as medications, epidural steroid injections and physical therapy — are often the first to be recommended after a person is diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition. Most patients are advised to explore these options for at least a few months after receiving their diagnosis.

If conservative treatment is successful, patients may be able to avoid surgical treatment. For some though, spine surgery can be the best option. A physician can help you determine which type of treatment you need based on a careful evaluation of factors, including the duration and severity of symptoms as well as how they are affecting your life.

The duration and severity of your symptoms

To determine if a patient may be a candidate for surgery, one of the primary factors considered will be the nature of the symptoms being experienced. For example, mild to moderate pain that has been occurring for a couple of weeks will be treated with conservative methods while the overall progress of the condition is monitored. Surgery becomes a more likely recommendation if symptoms are severe and have not shown improvement after nonsurgical degenerative spine treatment has been attempted for weeks or months.

How your symptoms affect your daily life

If symptoms related to your degenerative spine condition are mild or moderate and not preventing you from participating in your normal daily routine, continuing conservative degenerative spine treatment may be best for your needs. However, if your symptoms are making it difficult for you to work, walk or complete your usual activities, doctors will often recommend consulting with a surgeon.

Some patients will live with a crippling degenerative spine condition for years out of a desire to avoid surgery. The large incision, overnight hospitalization, risk of complication and long recovery periods associated with traditional open spine surgery make many anxious and hesitant to consent to a procedure. As a safer and effective alternative, USA Spine Care provides minimally invasive spine surgery that offers an outpatient experience with less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period for our patients.

For a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today.

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