How Does Anesthesia Help With Back Pain Surgery?

When you are undergoing most kinds of surgery, you are almost always going to be put under some form of anesthesia. There are two kinds of anesthesia, general and local. General anesthesia basically makes you unconscious while under surgery. Local anesthesia numbs a part of your body so that you don’t feel it when the doctor is breaking the skin or adjusting some sort of skin or muscle tissue. This is done for many types of surgeries, and is useful so that you don’t feel any of the pain that could be associated with the surgery. What does it mean when it involves back pain? When is it necessary to have local anesthesia versus general anesthesia?

Local Anesthesia

As stated before, local anesthesia is used for numbing only a specific area of the body. At the Spine Institute, we use local anesthesia for our minimally invasive spine surgeries. This technique is used to cause less disruption to muscles and bones that have nothing to do with the actual cause of the neck or back pain. In general, local anesthesia is considered much safer than general anesthesia. It only lasts for a short time as well, which means that minimally invasive surgeries for back pain that use local anesthesia tend to last for less than an hour. Patients usually get to leave the hospital the same day they have the surgery.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is used for more involved operations. At times, the minimally invasive methods that use local anesthesia are not successful. Minimally invasive methods of spinal surgery max out at a 95% success rate. There is always the potential for failed back surgery syndrome, which means symptoms persist despite surgery. If this is the case, it may mean that a more involved surgical procedure is necessary, one where local anesthesia is not enough to relax the patient.

Determining if your back or neck pain means anesthesia is something that you must consult with your doctor. Every patient is different, both in terms of what is causing their back pain and how they may react to certain procedures. You need an expert to help you determine what is best. If you are in the New Jersey area and are experiencing issues of back pain, contact us at the Spine Institute for an appointment.