Lumbar facet pain is a common cause of lower back pain, affecting millions of people worldwide. The lumbar facet joints are small joints located in the lower back that connect the vertebrae, allowing movement and flexibility. However, these joints can become damaged or inflamed, leading to chronic pain and discomfort.
In some cases, lumbar facet pain may require surgery to manage symptoms effectively. In this blog post, we’ll explore when lumbar facet surgery is necessary and what to expect during the procedure.
When is Lumbar Facet Surgery Necessary?
Lumbar facet surgery is typically considered a last resort when other non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy and medication, have failed to provide relief. Surgery may be recommended when the pain is severe and persistent, affecting the patient’s quality of life. Some of the common indications for lumbar facet surgery include:
- Chronic pain:
When the pain is chronic and has not responded to other treatments, surgery may be considered to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Limited mobility:
If lumbar facet pain has restricted movement and mobility, surgery may be necessary to restore full function.
- Nerve compression:
When the pain is caused by nerve compression, surgery may be needed to alleviate pressure on the affected nerves.
- Degenerative changes:
When the lumbar facet joints have undergone degenerative changes due to aging or injury, surgery may be necessary to address the underlying issue.
What to Expect During Lumbar Facet Surgery
Lumbar facet surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient can go home the same day. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and the surgeon will make small incisions near the affected joint.
Using specialized instruments, the surgeon will remove any damaged or inflamed tissue and make any necessary repairs to the joint. The procedure may take several hours to complete, depending on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the surgery.
After the procedure, the patient will be monitored for a few hours before being discharged. Most patients experience some discomfort and pain in the days following the surgery, but this can be managed with pain medication and rest.
The patient will be advised to avoid any strenuous activity and gradually return to their normal activities as directed by their surgeon.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
The recovery period for lumbar facet surgery varies depending on the individual patient and the complexity of the surgery. Most patients can return to work and resume their normal activities within a few weeks, but it may take several months for the full effects of the surgery to be realized.
Physical therapy may be recommended to help the patient regain strength and mobility and to prevent the recurrence of lumbar facet pain.
Lumbar facet pain can be a debilitating condition that significantly impacts a person’s quality of life. While surgery is not always necessary, it may be considered when other treatments have failed to provide relief.
If you are experiencing lumbar facet pain, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. By working closely with your healthcare team, you can manage your pain effectively and improve your overall quality of life.
Remember, professionals at Genesis Pain Clinic are always ready to assist you. Just give us a call at (913) 871-9888 to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.