A common question many patients have prior to getting an epidural injection is “how long will the effects of the injection last”. It is a hard question to answer because everyone has a slightly different condition causing the pain. Pain varies from patient to patient. Therefore, it is hard to predict how long the effects of the injection will last and maybe more than one injection will be needed. Some patients can get full relief of their symptoms and avoid or postpone surgery all together. An epidural injection for back or neck pain is administered by a pain management physician who is usually dual certified in Anesthesiology. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 305-467-5678 or private message me.
Decompressive laminectomy, also known as spinal laminectomy and spinal decompression is the most common type of surgery done to treat lumbar (low back) spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by age-related changes in the spine, injuries to the spine, herniated discs or tumors that may cause pain, numbness or weakness in the legs. This surgery is done to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve roots. In many cases, reducing pressure on the nerve roots can relieve pain and allow you to resume normal daily activities. During the Laminectomy, the lamina or bony walls of the vertebrae are removed, along with any bone spurs and/or thickened tissue that is narrowing the spinal canal and squeezing the spinal nerve roots. The aim of the procedure is to open up the spinal column to remove pressure on the nerves.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis:
+ Back pain
+ Difficulties balancing the body while standing, bending, or walking
+ Weakness in the feet, legs or buttocks
+ Leg cramps when you stand for long periods
+ Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the legs, lower back area or buttocks
+ Stiff thighs or legs
+ Bladder issues or bower dysfunction
+ Weakness in the neck, clumsy hands
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious but rare complication of a ruptured disc. It occurs when disc material is pushed into the spinal canal and compresses the bundle of lumbar and sacral nerve roots, causing loss of bladder and bowel control. Permanent neurological damage may result if this syndrome is left untreated.
Sometimes, even the worst spinal pain can make us hesitant to visit a spine doctor, but those horror stories are a thing of the past. New technologies have made procedures increasingly safer and more helpful. Utilizing technology to advance precision and technique, millions of people are finding unexpected relief from undergoing these three procedures.
1. Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement – Cervical discs can begin to press on the nerves of the spine from the neck down to the lower back, creating neck and back pain for the individual. After 4 to 7 years of clinical success, this procedure is proving to be the best alternative to past procedures, including Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF), which involves the removal of the disc and the decompression of the spinal chord and nerve endings.
2. Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion – Sacroiliac joint dysfunction causes improper movement in the lower back, inducing back and lower leg pain. New techniques in fusion have allowed for a far less invasive procedure and is growing in popularity among those seeking to alleviate this position. Additionally, more options for bone grafts and innovations in implants offer patients greater control over the procedure.
3. Vertebral Augmentation – The treatments for fractured vertebra may have seen the greatest advances, thanks to new discoveries. In the past, nonsurgical treatments limited the amount of relief a patient could expect, but, today, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty operations can alleviate the pain caused by osteoporosis compression fractures. While vertebral augmentation is still fairly new, it has become a preferred procedure and affords the greatest possibility of complete pain relief.
While back surgery may still carry a stigma with it, those in need of relief may find greater hope in taking advantage of new and successful techniques. It’s still vital to find a Miami surgeon with whom you feel comfortable placing your trust and one who will help you fully explore all of your options. However, once you make the decision to pursue treatment, one of these advances may save you from the pain that nothing else has been able to relieve.