Degenerative spine surgery, while beneficial for some individuals, is a major medical procedure that requires a great deal of consideration. Surgery can be highly appealing to those whose symptoms are making it difficult to work or complete their usual daily activities. However, it also involves a recovery period of several weeks or more, while also associated with several potential complications. As a result, patience is important when developing a degenerative spine disease treatment plan. Many individuals are able to address their symptoms with a combination of nonsurgical methods, delaying the need for degenerative spine surgery or even avoiding it altogether.
Common nonsurgical alternatives
Typically, when a person is first diagnosed with degenerative spine disease, he or she will be advised to explore several conservative (nonsurgical) therapies before considering surgery. Often, a combination of nonsurgical treatments can provide adequate relief. Common conservative treatments for degenerative spine disease include:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Prescription pain medications
- Physical therapy
- At-home stretching and strengthening exercises
- Epidural steroid injections
Complementary and alternative therapies
Not only are there several traditional treatments to choose from, but also a number of complementary and alternative options. These fall outside the scope of conventional medicine, but many people have found them to be effective at reducing the discomfort caused by degenerative spine disease. Such options include:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic care
The drawback to nonsurgical treatment – whether traditional, complementary or alternative – is that the results are temporary. Although often beneficial, the above options need to be repeated on a regular basis to provide adequate symptom control. Also, some people simply do not obtain the results they need from conservative options, no matter how often they repeat them or how many different therapies they try. When this is the case, degenerative spine surgery may become an option.
At USA Spine Care, our experienced orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform outpatient procedures that are offered as alternatives to traditional, open spine operations. When compared to an open neck or back procedure, our minimally invasive procedures have shorter recovery times^ and lower infection rates. To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient degenerative spine surgery at USA Spine Care, contact us today.
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