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Spine surgery may be indicated when conservative treatment is not effective in reducing pain or when the patient develops progressive and functionally limiting neurologic symptoms such as leg weakness, bladder or bowel incontinence.
Other possible indications for surgery include:
The most common types of low back surgery include microdiscectomy, discectomy, laminectomy, foraminotomy, or spinal fusion. Another less invasive surgical technique consists of an implantation of a spinal cord stimulator and typically is used for symptoms of chronic radiculopathy (sciatica). Lumbar artificial disc replacement is a newer surgical technique for treatment of degenerative disc disease, as are a variety of surgical procedures aimed at preserving motion in the spine.
Last Updated: 7/8/2009