Spinal fusion, like other forms of spine surgery, is typically considered a last resort treatment option and should be used when all other treatment options have been exhausted. If you are suffering from the chronic pain of a degenerative spine condition and have been told that you need spine surgery, make sure you consider a few things before moving forward with the procedure.
The first step to take before consenting to spine surgery is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor can help you find a regimen of conservative treatments that can help reduce your symptoms and allow your body time to heal itself. These treatment recommendations are effective for many patients and can prevent the need for spine surgery. At USA Spine Care we believe in patient-centered care, including education to help you make a treatment decision on an informed basis. If you have questions about your condition and the treatment options we can offer, contact our team today.
Types of conservative treatment for a degenerative spine condition
A C3-C4 fusion, a surgical fusion between the third and fourth vertebrae in the cervical (upper) spine, is only necessary if you cannot find relief through conservative treatments. These nonsurgical options for pain relief can help reduce the pressure on the pinched nerve in your neck, helping many patients get back to normal comfortable activity. The most common conservative treatments include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hot/cold therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
- Lifestyle changes like following a weight management plan or improving posture
Some physicians may recommend that you try a series of alternative treatments, as well. These treatments can include:
- Herbal medicine
- Massage therapy
All treatments should be recommended and monitored by a medical professional, and you should tell your doctor if you want to make any changes to your treatment program. Additionally, tell your doctor if you experience lasting pain or discomfort during or after a treatment.
Minimally invasive alternatives to traditional C3-C4 fusion
While many patients find relief from conservative treatment, your condition may require more specialized attention. If you’re still experiencing the same amount of pain after several months of conservative therapy, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care.
Our minimally invasive procedures are an outpatient alternative to traditional open back surgery. Instead of cutting and tearing the muscles near the spine, our surgery moves the muscles aside. This allows our patients to experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication. For patients needing a C3-C4 fusion, our minimally invasive stabilization surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and can reduce your risk of failed back surgery syndrome and other complications.
Contact USA Spine Care today and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to find out if you are a candidate our minimally invasive spine surgery.
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