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Back Pain Treatments

Degenerative disc disease, vertebral compression fracture, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis and disc herniation are just some of the disorders that cause or contribute to back pain.

Neurosurgeons at Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates (BNSA) of BCH are specialists trained to treat the entire spine—from its bony components to the spinal cord and nerves—and have the expertise necessary to diagnose and treat all common and complex spinal disorders.

To schedule a neurosurgical consultation with Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates of BCH, call 303-938-5700.

Non-surgical Options for Back Pain

First in our comprehensive treatment plan are non-surgical options to avoid or postpone surgery, if possible. Non-surgical treatment usually includes:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Immobilization
  • Cervical traction
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Core-muscle strengthening

If these conservative, non-surgical treatments are ineffective, surgery can be considered. Our experienced team of neurosurgeons offers compassionate care and the latest in minimally invasive approaches to surgery, helping you quickly return to your daily activities.

Surgical Options for Back Pain

BCH’s Foothills Hospital was the first Colorado hospital north of Denver to offer the Mazor X™ Stealth system for complex spine surgeries. Learn more.

Spine fusion surgery

Spine, or lumbar, fusion surgery creates a solid bone between adjoining vertebra, eliminating any movement between the bones. This procedure can be performed at any level in the spine and prevents movement between the fused vertebrae, with the goal being to reduce pain and nerve irritation.

Spine fusion is used for treating many low back conditions, including degenerative disc disease, which affects about 30% percent of people over age 30. It’s also used to treat spinal disorders such as spondylolisthesis with instability, scoliosis or severe disc degeneration.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Our neurosurgeons perform spine fusions in innovate ways to reduce associated risks of surgery, including postoperative pain and long recovery times. The technique BSNA of BCH surgeons often use for spine fusion surgery is an approach called Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF), which fuses the front and back section of the spinal column and offers many advantages over traditional spinal fusion:

  • Smaller incisions and less scarring.
  • Less post-op pain and reduced discomfort.
  • Faster recovery and quick return to normal activities and back function.
  • Reduced blood loss.
  • Minimized risk of complications

Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)

This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a lateral retroperitoneal approach (from the side through the abdominal wall). It’s primarily used to provide relief to patients who cannot tolerate a larger, open back surgery because of the increased risks of longer anesthesia time, blood loss, hospitalization, and recovery. XLIF is used to treat spondylolisthesis, recurrent disc herniations, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and degenerative scoliosis.

Artificial disc replacement
Artificial disc replacement (ADR) offers patients with degenerative disc disease a very attractive alternative to spine fusion surgery. ADR is a novel technology designed to replace degenerated or injured discs with a prosthesis that allows for normal movements of the spine and reduces or eliminates pain from abnormal motion or nerve compression.

Today, microdiscectomy is one of the most common spinal surgical surgeries to remove a herniated disc. Microdiscectomy involves a small incision at the appropriate lumbar level and use of an operating microscope. Using microscopic magnification, the surgeon creates a small opening in the spine’s bony lamina, and the disc is removed using ultramodern microsurgical techniques.

Laminectomy and foraminotomy

Laminectomy is a procedure that is commonly performed to treat lumbar spinal stenosis. It involves removing the spinous process (bony projection from the back of the vertebral body), lamina (bony covering the spinal canal) and part of the facet joints.

Also commonly used to treat spinal stenosis, foraminotomy helps lower pressure within the spinal canal by enlarging the passageway through which a spinal nerve root branches from the spinal canal.

Vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures to treat vertebral compression fractures, which are small breaks in the thick mass of bone that makes up the front part of your spinal column (the vertebral body). They are most often caused by osteoporosis. Our neurosurgeons use imaging guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone (vertebroplasty) or insert a balloon into the fractured bone to create a space and then fill it with cement (kyphoplasty).

Scoliosis correction
At Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates of BCH, we treat most cases of adult scoliosis without surgery, which includes the following:

  • No treatment; observe the curve for possible progression
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Back exercises for posture and strength
  • Moist heat
  • In some cases, bracing may be used (but only to control pain, not to correct the deformity)

If spine surgery is necessary, it may include spinal fusion to stabilize the spine.

Spinal cord stimulation
The Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Implant is an advanced neuromodulation technology that offers effective methods for treating chronic neuropathic pain in the back, trunk and limbs. SCS offers patients a clinically proven, drug-free therapy that has been successful in treating pain associated with conditions such as postlaminectomy syndrome, axial low back pain, radiculopathy, peripheral neuropathy and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

SI joint fusion
The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) links the iliac bones (pelvis) to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine above the tailbone). Our surgeons develop a personalized treatment plan for patients with symptoms caused by SI, which can include physical therapy, chiropractic manipulations, oral medications or injection therapy. If surgery is determined to be the most effective treatment for the condition, they will perform an SI joint fusion, which is a less invasive surgical procedure than traditional SI joint surgery.

Contact Us

To schedule a neurosurgical consultation with Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates of BCH, call 303-938-5700.

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