If back pain is making it tough to get through your day and interfering with your mobility, surgery may be your best treatment option. Ali Raja, MD, FAANS, FACS, at Neurosurgery Specialists of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas, is a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal surgery for pinched nerves, disc disease, and other painful conditions that have not responded to conservative therapies. Whenever possible, Dr. Raja performs minimally invasive microsurgery to promote quicker recovery and healing. Call the office today to schedule an evaluation, or book your visit online.
Research suggests that 8 in 10 individuals experience an episode of back pain during their lifetime. Fortunately, back pain typically responds well to conservative treatments such as activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy to reduce pain and restore mobility.
Sometimes, however, age-related changes in the spine or structural abnormalities caused by injury or various inherited disorders result in ongoing back pain and symptoms such as weakness, numbness, and pain in the legs or arms that don’t respond adequately to conservative treatment.
When pain or neurological deficits limit your ability to function or otherwise interfere with your quality of life, Dr. Raja may recommend surgery for:
Dr. Raja has significant skill and expertise in all types of spinal surgery but specializes in minimally invasive microsurgery and recommends it whenever possible for these highly intricate procedures.
Access to the targeted treatment area during traditional, or “open,” spine surgery requires a long incision, 5-6 inches, that must travel through several layers of skin and other soft tissue structures.
During minimally invasive (laparoscopic) microsurgery, Dr. Raja makes a few (usually two or three) very small incisions near the site. Using soft tubes (catheters), he then passes various surgical instruments and a high-definition camera through the button-size incisions to perform the surgery.
He also uses a surgical microscope during the procedure and uses other advanced technology such as neuronavigation to locate and view nerves, discs, and other delicate components of the spine.
The increased precision related to microsurgery allows Dr. Raja to perform highly complex spinal surgeries with great accuracy.
In general, minimally invasive procedures greatly reduce surgical trauma to skin, connective tissue (fascia), muscles, and other soft tissue structures that surround and support the spine. This typically reduces postsurgical discomfort and helps speed healing and recovery.
The goal of spine surgery is to reduce or eliminate pain, restore spinal stability and mobility, and improve your overall quality of life.
Every case is different and recovery times vary. Dr. Raja discusses details of your surgery, including what to expect as you heal, before scheduling the procedure.
Notably, Dr. Raja’s care extends into your recovery phase. He may prescribe pain medication, activity modification for several days following the procedure, and physical therapy or rehab to help restore your strength, stamina, and flexibility. Following his postsurgical instructions carefully helps ensure a successful outcome.
Schedule an evaluation at Neurosurgery Specialists of Arkansas today. Call the office or book your appointment online.