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When might surgery be appropriate for back pain?

Back surgery might be appropriate in some cases of spine pain. Only 2%-5% of patients with low back pain require surgery:

  • Progressive neurological deficit - If you are getting worse and say you are losing muscle strength, it would be time to see a surgeon. Pain alone is not reason for surgery. There must be other signs such as reflex loss and muscle weakness.
  • Cauda equina syndrome (CES)- If you lose control of your bowel/bladder function, it would be time to see a surgeon. (statistics on CES)
Keep in mind that though surgery is shown to sometimes provide faster relief, but at follow-up 10 years after surgery, little difference is noted in the daily functioning of patients who had back surgery vs those who chose a non-surgical route. (Atlas, Spine 30(8))
Your condition is individual. Your doctor at Dr. Hoang's Chiropractic Clinic will carefully examine you for any and all symptoms and recommend a treatment plan for you. If at any time in your care, your condition changes, tell us. We will monitor your condition and adjust the plan as required.
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