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Operative Methods for Sports and Spine Injuries

Mar 6, 2015

If you’re dealing with the painful effects of a sports or spine injury, you understand how difficult simple tasks can become. While non-surgical methods can help relieve pain, they may not be able to actually treat the injury. If non-surgical methods haven’t improved your condition or reduced your pain, it may be time to consider a surgical procedure.

The best surgical method for you will depend on the specific type of injury you’ve suffered. After an examination, your doctor will be able to determine what procedure will be the most beneficial to treat your injury and relieve your pain.

Below are a few common surgical methods used to treat sports and spine injuriesand address pain.

Ligament Repair

It’s very common for athletes to experience tears in their ligaments caused by sports injuries. Whether it’s due to a traumatic event or from a long period of overuse, ligaments have to be surgically repaired when they tear.

A surgeon will make a few small incisions and reattach the ligament to the bone. After the procedure, the patient will typically complete several weeks of physical therapy to regain full range of motion in the ligament.

When a ligament is just stretched and not completely torn, non-surgical methods are usually very effective. You doctor will determine whether surgery is the right choice for you.

Lumbar Microdiscectomy

While herniated discs can be treated with non-surgical methods, this injury is sometimes too severe and requires spine surgery. Symptoms of a herniated disc include low back pain, leg or foot pain, numbness, and weakness. During a lumbar microdiscectomy, the surgeon will remove the herniated part of the disc, as well as any other fragments of bone. After surgery, it’s not necessary to complete any sort of rehabilitation, but your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to make sure the incision is healing properly.

Lumbar Decompression

Another type of spine surgery is called lumbar decompression which is used to treat the pain caused by a pinched nerve root. This pinched nerve root may occur as a result of either a lumbar herniated disc or lumbar spinal stenosis.

During decompression surgery, the surgeon removes a small piece of the bone or disc material from either above or below the root in order to stop the nerve from being pinched. This will alleviate the pressure and also allow enough room for the nerve to heal.

These common procedures are safe and have improved the quality of life for countless patients dealing with a painful injury. Before making a decision, carefully consider all of your options and be sure to consult with your doctor. He or she will be able to help you decide the best course of action based on your specific situation.

For more information about spine and back surgery, download our e-book, The Patient’s Manual to Spine and Back Surgery. This educational guide will answer any questions you have about injuries and surgical procedures so you can be as informed and prepared as possible.