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Lower Back Pain Surgery

Indications for Lower Back Pain Surgery

Lower back pain can be disabling; however, most cases heal with time (2-12 weeks) and with conservative therapy. However, surgery is suggested when symptoms persist and begin to affect your daily activities. Lower back surgery may be indicated for treating various underlying causes of back pain such as:

  • Spinal fractures
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Nerve compression
  • Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Tumors
  • Infection
  • Instability
  • Bowel and bladder difficulties

Surgery is usually suggested by your doctor once conservative measures have failed to relieve pain. In rare cases, such as cauda equina syndrome, where there is a high risk of developing permanent paralysis, or bowel and bladder difficulties, surgery may need to be performed on an emergency basis.

Different Lower Back Pain Surgeries

Some lower back pain surgeries include:

  • discectomy: The herniated soft interior of an intervertebral disc (spongy disc of tissue that cushions the bones in the spinal cord) is removed to release pressure on a compressed nerve.
  • Laminectomy: Bone and/or thickened tissue narrowing the spinal canal is removed to release pressure on a compressed nerve.
  • Spinal fusion: Spine movement is reduced by fusion of adjacent vertebral segments.
  • Removal of spinal tumors
  • Debridement of the spine: Infected, abnormal or dead tissue is removed.

Recovery Following Lower Back Pain Surgery

Many lower back pain surgeries are performed through minimal invasive techniques to reduce pain and the hospital stay. Recovery after lower back pain surgery may take 3-12 months. Physical therapy is recommended following surgery to improve flexibility, strengthen the back and stomach muscles, and help you return to your regular activities.

  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Association of Hand Surgery
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Virginia Orthopaedic Society, Sentara
  • Sentara
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
  • 5801 Harbour View Blvd
    Suite 200
    Suffolk, VA 23435

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

  • 501 Discovery Drive
    Chesapeake, VA 23320


  • 150 Burnett’s Way
    Suite 100
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm