Do I need surgery?

Surgery is the treatment of last result for most neck and back pain. Your Riverside medical team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that uses the conservative or non-surgical treatments first. But, what works for one person might not work for another. You and your doctors may find that you need surgery to correct your condition or to find relief from pain.  

There are several conditions that may require surgery:

Nerve damage. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain that radiates down your legs (sciatica) or arms
  • Numbness, weakness or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Compression of the spinal cord

Squeezed or pinched nerves

Too much movement between the spinal bones

Direct injury with fractures. While most fractures heal on their own, you may need surgery if your spine becomes unstable.

Deformities. Some conditions may become progressively worse and require surgery:

  • Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine
  • Kyphosis, a humpback deformity
  • Spondylolisthesis, the forward slippage of a segment of the spine

Back Surgery: When is it a good idea?

Additional questions?
Your Riverside surgeon and staff will be happy to explain your spine procedure and what you should expect in terms of pain management, your rehabilitation center stay or the type of home assistance required.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The Riverside Ask-A-Nurse service is also a good resource for information about surgery and recovery. They can be reached at (757) 595-6363 or 1-800-675-6368.


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