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Find Out Why Your Back Hurts and if Surgery Can Help

Do you live with chronic back pain? You’re not alone. Back pain that just won’t go away is the most common type of chronic pain reported in the U.S., with millions of Americans suffering. But how do you know if surgery is necessary to find the relief you’re looking for?

Most Back Pain Doesn’t Require Surgery

In most cases, you can find relief from your back pain without surgery. Things like ice, heat, spinal injections, physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications can help. Research shows that regular exercise also eases back pain and can keep it from recurring.

But for some, these first-line treatments are not enough. If more conservative treatments have failed to bring enough relief and your pain is persistent and disabling, it may be time to see a surgeon, more specifically, a neurosurgeon.

When Back Surgery is Needed, Trust an Expert

A neurosurgeon for back pain? Absolutely.

Why? Dr. Ricky Kalra is a specialist in both the brain and the spine, so his expertise gives him a hard-to-beat understanding of how nerves interact with the rest of the body. At Kalra Brain & Spine, we believe in utilizing a wide range of treatment options from pain management and physical therapies to innovative back surgeries that have helped many patients reclaim their lives.

Another important piece of information to know? Dr. Kalra sees second-opinion cases nearly every day. We believe this is proof of his commitment to the well-being of every one of his patients. His confidence in his diagnosis and recommended treatment plan means he’s always happy to work with the greater medical community to achieve the best outcomes for his patients.

Having a consultation with a surgeon doesn’t mean you’re committing to surgery. Instead, think of it as a chance to learn more about your condition and treatment options.

Helping you find relief from pain is the most important work we do. We are committed to exploring every treatment option and finding what will work best for your unique body and your unique life. Treatment plans are often multidisciplinary and directed toward nonoperative management of your condition, including physical therapy, injections and lifestyle modifications. While surgery has helped so many people finally live a life without pain, it’s never the first treatment we recommend for people suffering from back pain.

Ricky Kalra, MD, Founder of Kalra Brain & Spine

When Back Surgery is the Best Option

In cases where surgery is determined to be the best option, treatment at Kalra Brain & Spine is customized to each patient. Dr. Kalra uses the latest technology and techniques to provide the most minimally invasive surgery that will get the job done.

Back surgery often more predictably relieves pain or numbness that goes down one or both arms or legs. These symptoms often are most often caused by compressed nerves in your spine.

Nerves may become compressed for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A slipped or herniated disc that isn’t getting better on its own
  • Bone spurs in your spine (these are often caused by arthritis) that are putting pressure on your spinal cord
  • A degenerative spinal condition like stenosis (narrowing of the protective bony canal around the spinal cord) that’s causing side effects, like weakness

And a few other reasons you might need back surgery:

  • A traumatic injury to your back
  • A spinal infection, or a high fever with back pain (this can be a sign of a spinal infection)
  • A broken or dislocated bone in your back
  • A tumor on your spinal cord

Types of Back Surgery

There are several different types of back surgery, and depending on the root cause and severity of your back pain, Dr. Kalra may recommend one type versus another.

  • Discectomy. This involves removing the herniated portion of a disc to relieve irritation and inflammation of a nerve. Discectomy typically involves full or partial removal of the back portion of a vertebra (lamina) to access the ruptured disc.
  • Laminectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the bone overlying the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal and is performed to relieve nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis.
  • Fusion. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in your spine. It can relieve pain by adding stability to a spinal fracture. It is occasionally used to eliminate painful motion between vertebrae that can result from a degenerated or injured disc.
  • Artificial discs. Implanted artificial discs are an alternative treatment to spinal fusion for painful movement between two vertebrae due to a degenerated or injured disc.

At KBS, not only is surgery a last resort, Dr. Kalra is trained and experienced in many advanced procedures that are less invasive than traditional open back surgery and often more effective. Our goal is always the same—to get to know you, treat your symptoms and help you recover as fast as possible. So you can live life the way you want to live it. We dedicate a significant portion of our practice to rendering second (and even third!) opinions for people seeking relief from debilitating pain.

The Revelational Mobi-C® Cervical Disc

Dr. Kalra was one of the first physicians trained in implanting the Mobi-C® artificial disc when it became approved by insurance companies. He strongly believes that patients who are candidates for a minimally invasive surgery greatly benefit from the Mobi-C cervical arthroplasty (artificial disc insertion), which offers minimal down-time and doesn’t require a cervical collar. This option preserves the natural motion of the neck and substantially decreases the risk of another surgery down the road.

How Mobi-C Works

Mobi-C contains patented mobile-bearing technology that allows the polyethylene core to slide and rotate inside the disc for self-adjustment to the cervical spine movements. In real-life terms, this means that Mobi-C can react and adjust to the normal motion of your back. Additionally, Mobi-C provides bone-sparing fixation, meaning the device is able to be fixed in place without the need for chisel cuts into the small vertebral bodies of the cervical spine.

Find Freedom from Back Pain

At KBS, we see people every day who have been living with significant back pain and are just ready for a solution that works. We’ve helped moms and dads, men and women just like you to regain their lives free from the debilitating pain. Don’t wait. No matter where you are in the treatment process, Dr. Kalra is ready to help. We look forward to serving you!

If you’re interested in seeing if the Mobi-C or any of our other therapies could be right for you, schedule an appointment to consult with Dr. Kalra today.