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Three things you should know if you’re considering degenerative spine surgery

If you’re considering degenerative spine surgery — either as a treatment you might require in the next few months or an option to keep in mind if conservative therapies ultimately do not produce the desired results — there are several things you should know about operative treatment. Of course, the best way to learn is to sit down with an experienced orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon to evaluate your options, but while you’re still in the preliminary research phase, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Surgery is usually a last resort for many degenerative spine conditions

The symptoms of many degenerative conditions, including osteoarthritis, bone spurs and bulging discs, can be successfully managed with nonsurgical treatment. With that said, conservative therapies are only designed to alleviate pain — not to address the underlying source of the discomfort. If, after trying a number of different nonsurgical treatments, your degenerative spine symptoms are still interfering with your daily life, surgery might be recommended as a last resort.

Some procedures have a longer recovery time than others

There are several different types of degenerative spine surgery, including decompression procedures and stabilization surgeries. Furthermore, these procedures can usually be performed using either a minimally invasive or a traditional approach. The specific option recommended for a patient will depend on a number of factors, including his or her diagnosis and overall health. However, not all procedures are created equal. Minimally invasive procedures often offer several advantages over open neck or back operations, with potential benefits including faster recovery times.^

Complication rates can vary as well

Another thing that can vary from procedure to procedure is the rate of infection and other complications. At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive degenerative spine surgery that has a 0.55 percent infection rate and a lower complication rate than traditional surgery, making our procedures the clinically appropriate first choice versus open neck or back surgery in many situations.^

If you’ve reached the point where nonsurgical therapies simply aren’t producing the desired results and degenerative spine surgery might be an option, contact USA Spine Care to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

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