What are Common Types of Back Surgery?

back pain surgery

VigorBuddy.com | If your backpain is still very strong, despite all the efforts and surgery is the only or best option, you need to know at least what type of procedure you’ll have to go through. What you also need to be aware of is the fact that there are no guarantees the operation will provide relief, but if your problem is treatable and you find yourself in the hands of a good surgeon, the chances for success are significantly higher.

While every surgery carries a certain amount of risk, you have to look at the big picture, i.e. the possible benefits, such as lack of pain, ability to move better and improved mood. This will all help you lead a better life and be more productive. So, let’s take a look at the most common types of back surgery.

Spinal fusion

The most common procedure for chronic non-specific backpain with degenerative changes will see your vertebrae, i.e. spinal bones, joined together. While this limits the motion between them, you should fear that your activity will be significantly limited. Sometimes the bones don’t fuse completely and you might require another surgery, especially if you’re a smoker, but that is all part of the solution for your problem.


If you have a compressed nerve in the spine, this procedure will help you relieve the pain associated with this problem. The surgeon needs to remove parts of the bone at the sides of your vertebrae to widen the space where nerves exit the spine, thus relieving the pain. Your spine might become less stable as a consequence, but that can be fixed with a spinal fusion. This may sound scary, but with recent advances in modern medicine and professionals such as the renowned Australian neurosurgeon Dr. Timothy Steel, you should really have high hopes related to the outcome.


Lumbar spinal stenosis is usually treated with this surgery. Again, parts of the bone, bone spurs or ligaments need to be removed to relieve pressure on spinal nerves and you might end up with a less stable and strong spine, which is why surgeons sometimes recommend a spinal fusion as an additional procedure. If that is the case, you’ll need a bit more time to recover, but the result should definitely be worth the wait.


In case a disk slips out of place and presses a spinal nerve, you’ll feel strong back pain. To combat this problem, your surgeon will remove all or parts of the disk. They might need to make a big cut in your back or use a small one (microdiscectomy). The latter is performed using an operating microscope through a smaller incision and is now the standard surgical procedure for lumbar disc herniation. Finally, this procedure is occasionally part of a more complex procedure, which includes laminectomy, foraminotomy or spinal fusion.

Disc replacement

An artificial disc is inserted in this procedure to replace the damaged spinal disc. You can move your spine much better than in case of fusion and you’ll need less time to recover from this procedure, as well. Still, there is always a potential problem, which might see your new disc slippingor fallingout of place, in which case you’ll need another surgery.

Interlaminar implant

This minimally invasive alternative to laminectomy will see the surgeon implant a U-shaped device between two vertebrae in your lower back. This device keeps the space between them open and relieves pressure on your spinal nerves. This implant is supposed to provide stability and allow you to move your back almost normally. What you might find difficult, though, is bending backwards, so try to avoid it.

As you can see, there are many types of surgery, which is why it’s vital that you have the right diagnosis for the problem with your back. Also, you should talk to your surgeon to provide all relevant information about your health, so that they know what type of procedure to recommend and they should be able to give you some hints about the outcome.