When Is Back Surgery a Good Idea?

In most cases, you wont need it-but sometimes surgery can help relieve your pain.

Your back is hurting. Youve tried ice, heat, massage, anti-inflammatory medications-even a short stint of physical therapy. Is it time to consider surgery? That depends, says R. Douglas Orr, MD, a staff physician in the Center for Spine Health and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. "Realistically, if your only symptom is back pain, you probably shouldnt be thinking about surgery until youve had pain for at least a year. And you should be doing the whole array of nonsurgical treatments during that time," Dr. Orr says.
To continue reading this article or issue you must be a paid subscriber. Sign in

Subscribe to Arthritis Advisor

Get the next year of Arthritis Advisor for just $20. And access all of our online content - over 1,000 articles - free of charge.
Subscribe today and save 36%. It's like getting 4 months FREE!
Already Subscribed?
Click Here to Sign In | Forgot your password? | Activate Web Access