Back surgery, also called lower back surgery, is a medical procedure which aims to alter the anatomy of a patient s spine, including the removal of a herniated vertebral disc which is often the main cause of severe back pain. It is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the United Kingdom. Back surgery can be suitable for certain patients, of course if an anatomical deformity is identified as the underlying cause of chronic back pain then back surgery might be considered. The disc mechanics of the spine play a very important role in determining how successful back surgery will be in the elimination of back pain and therefore a lot of thought should be given to disc mechanics before undertaking such a procedure.
Disc mechanics have a large bearing on the success of back surgery and this is because the two discs that make up the spine only have an impact on each other when they are moving correctly and not when they are distorted slightly. There are two types of disks that can be used in back surgery, the outer (ceramic) disk and the inner (ligamentular) disc. The inner disc is much less common than the outer disk. Outer disks function more like cushions on the inside of the spine while the inner disks are solid and sit under your bones. When either disc type starts to move out of alignment with the other then you will start to feel back pain.
Another factor to consider when considering back surgery may be the location of the nerve which is damaged. Some nerves are more sensitive to the presence of swelling around them so if the swelling is particularly bad then the patient may want to consider having nerve surgery. Other nerves are not affected by swelling and so can go without any intervention.