Spinal Bone Spur Surgery - Is it Right for You?
If your doctor has asked you to consider spinal bone spur surgery, you are no doubt overwhelmed with the news. At this point, you're likely aware that bone spurs have formed in the jointed areas of your neck or back as a result of degenerative spinal arthritis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis. You may have been familiar with the symptoms of pain, stiffness, joint tenderness, and inflammation that are commonly associated with spinal arthritis, but now, the bone spurs pressing on your spinal cord or a nerve root are likely causing an entirely different set of neuropathic symptoms to arise.
Nerve compression symptoms are typically characterized by shooting pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the extremities, and, like spinal osteoarthritis discomfort, can usually be managed with nonsurgical treatments, like pain medication, physical therapy, hot/cold therapy, and other methods. However, if several weeks or months of these treatments fail to provide relief, bone spur surgery may be necessary to help relieve the pressure that a bone spur is exerting on your spinal cord or a nerve root.
Ask Your Doctor
Before you agree to undergo bone spur surgery, you should ask your doctor about the different types of procedures that may be available to you. Typically, spine surgeries fall into two categories: open back or neck surgery and endoscopic procedures. Open spine surgeries involve large incisions, muscle dissection, spinal fusion, and a long, arduous recovery period. Endoscopic procedures, on the other hand, usually only require an incision less than one inch in length and no muscle dissection, all of which can lead to a lower chance of complications and a much shorter recovery period than that of an open spine surgery.
Do Your Research
Finally, it's best to seek the advice of one or more spine specialists before choosing to undergo bone spur surgery. Obtaining additional medical opinions doesn't mean that your original doctor is wrong, but it can help to confirm your bone spur diagnosis and ensure that surgery is the absolute last treatment option for symptom relief.
To learn more about bone spur surgery and related topics, please read through our informational articles.