June 28, 2016 9:35 am


Coming to the decision to have back surgery is no easy task. Your back is the center of your body and plays a significant role in almost any movement, making it very likely that you will experience back pain at some point in your life. This can leave you wondering about when you should consider surgery.

All surgery has some risk. Why take any risk if you don’t have to? If the pain is unbearable, causing numbness or weakness that make it hard to function, then it may be appropriate to consider surgery early on. But in general, those with back pain can focus on less severe measures for the first 12 weeks.

You May Never Need Surgery

Studies have shown that 85 percent of people with back pain get better in four weeks, and 90 percent are better by 12 weeks. So unless there is a serious underlying condition (tumor, infection, fractures, giant disc herniation), we encourage people to try anti-inflammatory medication, moist heat, and light activity for the first 12 weeks.

When Do You Know It’s Time

Pain can make you crazy. People tell us they feel more emotional than usual and prone to bouts of sadness when in pain. What they are developing is depression. When severe pain hits, most people panic. Your first thought is, “I can’t live like this.” When you start to feel like enough is enough, it’s time to consider surgery. If you still have pain after 12 weeks, it’s time to consider surgery. The only person who really knows what your pain feels like is you. So the only person who can decide what is best for you is you.

We Want To Be Sure Surgery Is Necessary

Most back surgeries are highly effective. At Phoenix Spine, we start by developing a theory of what is causing your pain by matching the type of pain you have to the findings on your MRI and physical exam. Then we try to prove it with a block. If you get temporary relief from this procedure, we know with certainty the source of your pain. The key to being pain-free is truly eliminating the source of your pain.

Surgery Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

Once you have decided to explore surgery, our commitment to you is to make sure you get the right treatment as quickly as possible. At Phoenix Spine, we work every day to make surgery as safe and effective as possible. Most of our surgical patients are amazed at how quickly they feel total relief and wish they’d had surgery sooner. It takes us just days to complete your initial evaluation.

Once we clearly identified the source of your pain, and you have decided you are ready to move forward with surgery, we will get you scheduled immediately. In many cases, we can even operate the same day. How do we do it? Our state of the art ambulatory surgery center is designed specifically around the patient experience: we put you first.

When you are ready — we promise to be ready too.