Following on from our earlier blog on the incidence of lower back pain, occasionally non-invasive and non-surgical solutions do not improve the attack. In this instance your primary care provider may indicate it is time to consider undertaking some diagnostic actions like MRI and X-ray imaging, and also refer you to a surgeon who specialises in spinal surgery.

This specialist will examine you and may undertake further tests. They will then be able to: provide advice on your injury; explain your surgical options, why they are considered based on your injury, what each involves, and which is best for your individual situation. They will also outline what to expect from surgery and your likely recovery time, answering any questions you may have.

A back pain specialist will also be able to provide advice on after-surgical care and recovery treatments and refer you to relevant experts in these fields. This short four-minute animated video produced by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons details this process, many of the possible injuries and the surgical options available depending on the injury.

Please watch it here.

Dr Harding is a spine and neurosurgeon and is available for specialist advice and consultation on all spine related issues.