What is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work? No, it’s not the common cold, although its ranks high on the list. The correct answer is back pain. Ranging from dull aches to extreme acute discomfort, back pain affects large numbers of people worldwide. You may be wondering when it is time to move beyond the ice pack and schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist.

Lowcountry Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine spine specialists share some advice for when to get a professional opinion. “The first step is to assess your level of pain and identify the time of injury,” shares Don Stovall, MD. “Generally speaking, if the pain is dull and subsides within a few days you’re in the clear. If the pain persists for more than a few weeks and restricts you from doing daily activities, it is time to get evaluated by an orthopaedic doctor specializing in spine care.”

Use this convenient guide to determine if you need to see an orthopaedic spine specialist.

  1. The injury was caused by a fall or serious blow to your back.
  2. The pain spreads down one or both legs.
  3. Your back pain causes weakness or tingling in one or both legs.
  4. The pain lingers for a long time.
  5. Your symptoms don’t improve with rest.

There is a full range of options to treat back pain. Dr. Shailesh Patel from the Lowcountry Orthopaedics pain management team explains, “The focus is to manage people’s pain. We get patients as comfortable as possible using different treatment plans ranging from physical and occupational therapy, injections, and medications.” The goal is to provide answers for patients and help them to return to normal activities pain-free. “Another option for pain management is to use a spinal cord stimulator. It’s a way to electronically control pain and change the way a patient perceives and feels their pain.”

While back surgery remains an effective option for many patients, there are many advancements in minimally invasive treatment options for patients experiencing back pain. Spine Specialist, Christopher Battista joins Dr. Don Stovall in providing patients with minimally invasive spine surgery options, such as the ExcelsiusGPS™ robot-assisted spine surgery. “Robot-assisted spine surgery empowers spine surgeons to accurately and safely use a less invasive technique than the previously required open approach. The ExcelsiusGPS™ robot-assisted spine surgery revolutionizes minimally invasive surgical platforms available to our patients,” says Dr. Stovall.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain that is unresponsive to non-surgical treatment, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery in conjunction with the ExcelsiusGPS™ spinal surgery system. Surgery may or may not be the appropriate treatment for certain spine conditions. “We have specialists in all areas of spine care using the most advanced techniques and technology. Offering ExcelsiusGPS™ robot-assisted spine surgery continues our mission to offer patients the most advanced treatments available.”

Getting better for many patients involves a collaborative effort across multiple specialties including physical therapy, home care, pain management, coordinated nursing support, and an experienced spine surgery team. The decision to receive minimally invasive surgery is individualized to each patient and their symptoms. Please schedule your consultation to determine if minimally invasive, robot-assisted surgery is right for you.

By adopting new technologies and developing new techniques, Lowcountry Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine provides patients innovative surgical and nonsurgical techniques including fluoroscopy-guided pain management, nerve testing, physical and occupational therapy, and outpatient spine procedures. In-house procedures and our outpatient surgery center offer patients total care for their spine problems under one roof. To schedule an appointment, please call 843-797-5050. To learn more, www.lowcountryortho.com.