When Surgery Is the Last Option

Dr. Sandro LaRocca MD of New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C.

Generally, doctors consider surgery to be the last resort for neck and back conditions. Many patients with severe symptoms are surprised to learn that non-invasive therapies work well for managing and potentially even resolving their problems. However, there are cases where surgery is called for, and Dr. Sandro LaRocca of New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C., is here to explain when neck or back surgery might be your option for finding relief.

Have All Conservative Treatment Options Failed?

Although some cases require immediate surgery to resolve an issue with the back or neck, they are pretty rare. In most cases, more conservative treatments are greatly beneficial to patients with neck and back issues like degenerative disc disease or Radiculopathy/sciatica. But if you try all of the following options and none of them work, it may be time to consider surgery:

Physical Therapy

The length and intensity of physical therapy may vary greatly depending on your particular situation and goals. However, one thing that is consistent across physical therapy patients is that this treatment is widely prescribed and typically effective. A doctor will usually recommend at least 4-6 weeks of physical therapy before considering surgery. If there are no improvements over this time, surgery may be an option.

Epidural Steroid Injections

These are injections of a steroid into the epidural space within the spine. Steroids tend to take a while to work, and patients usually receive multiple shots over several weeks or months. The medication works to reduce the inflammation that is causing the symptoms. If epidural steroid injections have no effect, it might be time to consider surgical treatment.

Facet or Medial Branch Blocks

Like epidural steroid injections, these treatments are injections of steroids and anesthetics into the back. However, they specifically target joints in the back and are only applicable in the case of certain ailments. If they don’t work, different treatment options may be explored, including surgery.

Are Your Symptoms Worsening?

If you have symptoms that are getting worse over time, especially after trying other treatment options, it might be time to consider surgery. If the following symptoms worsen over time and begin to restrict your normal activities or mobility, it’s highly recommended to discuss neck or back surgery with Dr. LaRocca:

  • Radiating pain, numbness, or weakness
  • Loss of control of your bowels or bladder
  • Loss of coordination or newly dropping things often

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. LaRocca

If surgery is, in fact, the best treatment option for you, it is important to find a great surgeon to work with. For years, Dr. Sandro LaRocca has been performing cutting-edge spinal surgeries with a patient-centered philosophy in Central New Jersey. He specializes in treating patients who have attempted all other viable treatment options and require surgery to attain relief. To learn more about neck and back surgery, contact New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C., to make an appointment.

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*New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. offers surgical treatments for a variety of spinal and neck conditions, and does not treat or consult on hip, leg, ankle, knee, or non-spinal conditions.

*New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. does not provide personalized consulting or advice over phone or email. All interaction must be done via appointment at one of our 4 main offices listed below.

*We are located in New Jersey, USA and do not provide medical advice via email or phone. We do not accept Medicare or Medicaid, however we do participate with commercial insurance as an out of network provider.

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