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Acute Back Injuries & Minimally Invasive Surgery

Living with painful spine issues not only puts a crimp in your daily life right now — if not addressed, it can also mean a lifetime of pain and continued degeneration. You may be facing acute or subacute back pain because of a number of reasons.

  • Degenerative disc disease — discs that continuously degrade over time.
  • Trauma-related disc issues — caused by anything from at-work injuries to car accidents.
  • Disc-compressed nerves — nerve impingement due to disc movement.
  • Herniated discs — spinal disc tissue that moves outside of its normal space.
  • Cracked discs — spinal bones that develop fractures or cracks due to trauma or degeneration.
  • Sciatica — nerve pain that follows the sciatic nerve through the lower back, hips and legs.
  • And many more!

Degenerative Disc Disease – What Your Spine Doctor in NJ Will Tell You

One of the most common acute back issues is degenerative disc disease. In fact, many other back pain issues would actually be considered a type of degenerative disc disease.

Degenerative disc disease is characterized by a host of symptoms that can range from simply painful to completely debilitating. Those symptoms include:

  • Pain that radiates up through the neck or down through arms and legs.
  • Constant lower back pain that flares with increased use.
  • Muscle spasms that cause either quick clench-and-release sensations or completely seize up a muscle group in one particular area.
  • Feelings of numbness or pins and needles, which may indicate one or more nerves being impinged or compressed.
  • Pain localized to one side or area of your spine, indicating an issue specific to a smaller subset of discs instead of the entire spinal column.
  • Feelings of stiffness or weakness, either radiating through all appendages or specific to one area, which may also indicate compressed nerves.

While many people develop degenerative disc disease as a part of their aging process, it can affect individuals differently. When the impact of your back pain begins to interrupt your normal activities of daily living, it’s time to seek help.

Considering back surgery as a way to relieve acute and subacute back pain and its related life-altering symptoms and results can seem extraordinarily daunting. You may be put off by fears of extremely long surgeries, extended periods of recovery and therapy or even simply finding a trusted spine doctor in NJ. Fortunately, you can accomplish high levels of relief through minimally invasive spine surgery.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

As the name might suggest to you, minimally invasive spine surgery involves highly trained surgeons accessing the problem areas of your back through the smallest possible surgical opening. If you’ve ever experienced arthroscopic surgery in your knees, hips or shoulders, you are already familiar with the ability of surgeons to use very small incisions to complete highly intricate surgical results.

At the beginning of a search for a spine doctor in NJ, back pain patients should consider these attributes that highly skilled surgeons possess:

  1. High level expertise in minimally invasive techniques, with many combined years of education and practice in these procedures.
  2. Board certification through the American Board of Neurological Surgery, a body that vets each applying doctor individually, based on their education and training.
  3. Patient-centric, team-delivered care from start to finish. Your spine doctor won’t be in the operating theater alone. Nor should he be alone in practice. A good team is one that has worked together extensively and delivers the best possible care to every patient seen.

When you begin to evaluate options to tackle your back problems before they worsen further, take these steps to ensure the best possible outcome.

  1. Consult with your primary care physician, who can advise you on any testing that may need to be done to determine the initial extent of your back issue or injury and take care of any other medical needs that must be addressed prior to surgery.
  2. Identify your preferred spine doctor in NJ. Patients living with worsening issues can pinpoint a practice that is both conveniently located and offers several physicians.
  3. Draw up a list of all issues that you can identify having to do with your back pain or limitations. On this list, include anything that infringes on the way you live your daily life, the extent of how far the pain reaches to other areas of your body, what you have done in the past to address this pain, any trauma that could have led to or worsened this pain and any other details you feel are necessary to share with the doctor. Being prepared ahead of your initial evaluation can mean that you don’t forget important information when put on the spot.
  4. Gather all related testing other doctors have already performed, including imaging. Although your spinal surgeon may also run additional tests, earlier results can show changes over time or eliminate the need to repetitive testing.
  5. Draw up a plan as a team and ensure you discuss reasonable outcomes that you can anticipate once your minimally invasive surgery has been performed.
  6. Follow all of your doctor’s and rehab specialist’s advice as closely as possible to ensure you achieve the highest level of success.

Don’t let your back pain take away another day of your life. Instead, work with your highly trained medical team and your spine doctor in NJ to achieve the results you — and your back — need.
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