When To Get a Surgical Consult for Neck or Back Pain
Delaying a surgical consult for spine (back) or neck pain is never advised; discover when the right time is to schedule an appointment with your back and neck specialist with this article from Prpa Spine Surgey.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans experiencing neck or back pain in any given moment, you know how miserable the discomfort can be. Luckily, back and neck pain often go away on their own or they resolve themselves over time with conservative treatments involving anti-inflammatories, such as Motrin or Aleve, exercise and rest.
While that’s certainly great news, there are instances in which people suffering from neck or back pain will need to seek medical assistance to reclaim their pain-free lives. When should you seek assistance from your primary care physician or an orthopedic surgeon? It depends.
Your Back or Neck Pain Is Disrupting Your Sleep
If your back or neck pain is interrupting your sleep, or it gets worse when you try to rest, it’s time to visit your primary care physician. While you might be tempted to put off a visit to your doctor and wait things out, you shouldn’t do that if your pain is accompanied by a fever.
Even though this kind of discomfort normally isn’t life-threatening on its own, it can be a very different story when it’s paired with even a mild fever. If you have neck or back pain and a fever, you may have an infection like meningitis. Infections can worsen quickly so it’s vital for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
You’ve Beaten Cancer and You’re Experiencing First-Time Neck or Back Pain
If you’re a cancer survivor and you’re experiencing neck or back pain for the first time, you should hasten your way into your doctor’s office as quickly as you can. First-time back pain in people who have a history of cancer may be a sign of colon, rectum or ovary cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that a growing cancer can put pressure on your organs, nerves and blood vessels. This pressure may result in back or neck pain. In general, it’s thought that once someone is experiencing pain, the cancer has already started to spread. This makes getting in to see your doctor early a must for anyone who has a history of cancer and is experiencing back or neck pain for the first time.
Your Legs Become Progressively Weaker or You’re Having Bladder or Bowel Problems
If you’re suddenly having trouble controlling your bowels or bladder, or your legs are getting progressively weaker, you need to see an orthopedic surgeon immediately. The symptoms just described may indicate you have cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome is an extremely serious condition that can require emergency back surgery.
Your Pain Radiates Down One Leg
If you have pain, weakness, numbness or electrical sensations that radiate down one leg, you might have sciatica. The symptoms of sciatica are often the result of pressure on a spinal nerve root. If you suspect you have sciatica, you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who has experience treating the condition successfully.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Branko Prpa M.D.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why you might want to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Lower back pain that gets worse when you bend over may be an indicator of a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease that needs to be treated by a surgeon, for example. The symptoms of spinal stenosis, a traumatic injury, and persistent neck or back pain are just a few more reasons that you may want to seek help from an orthopedic surgeon.
If you need to see a back or neck surgeon, see the best available in your area. If you live in or around Milwaukee, WI, Dr. Branko Prpa is the best spine surgeon you’ll find. Make an appointment with Branko PRPA M.D. today.