Spire Healthcare hospitals work very hard to keep surgical wounds clean:
- All their hospitals have a very high proportion of single rooms which is recognised to dramatically reduce infections spreading.
- All Spire Healthcare staff are trained in exceptional hand hygiene to minimise any risk of cross-infection.
- Spire Healthcare nurses have the right skills and experience to apply dressings to keep wounds clean.
- Spire Healthcare help patients to mobilise as soon as possible to speed recovery.
- Operating theatres with laminar air flow is used for all major orthopaedic operations. Laminar air flow is an air filter system that cleans the surrounding air during surgery.
Back pain treatment and surgery
Spinal surgery is usually performed to relieve pressure on one or more nerves. There are various different operations to relieve nerve compression. The exact operation that you will have depends on the cause of the pain. Back operations are performed under general anaesthesia, which means you will be asleep throughout the procedure and will feel no pain.
Some of the most common procedures are described below. Sometimes, more than one procedure is done during a single operation. Your surgeon will explain which is most suitable for you and the benefits and risks of having a back operation, together with any alternatives.
- Discectomy – the soft centre of the disc that is protruding and putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve is removed.
- Nerve root or spinal decompression – any bone, disc tissue or other material putting pressure on the nerve root or spinal cord is removed.
- Spinal fusion – vertebrae are joined together, using bone taken from your hip, metal implants or a specially designed cage.
A physiotherapist will visit you after your spinal surgery and discuss exercises you can do in bed to help speed up your recovery. Before you go home, your physiotherapist will make sure that you can use the stairs and can sit comfortably for about 10 minutes.
Depending on the operation you have, you will usually need to stay in hospital for two to seven days.
Back surgery is commonly performed and generally safe.
“Epidural” refers to the space surrounding the outer protective covering of the spinal cord.
For some people, an injection into the epidural space can help to relieve back pain or sciatica (shooting pain from the back down one or both legs) at least in the short term. This period of pain relief may allow them to become more active. Keeping active is crucial to recovery from chronic back pain.
The epidural injection for chronic back pain consists of a steroid, a local anaesthetic or a combination of the two. These drugs are put into the epidural space using a special needle. The position of the injection depends on which spinal nerves are responsible for the pain. This is usually in the lumbar region of the back (below the level of your lowest rib).
The procedure is routinely carried out as a day case, with no overnight stay. The injection is usually given under a local anaesthetic. This means you will stay awake during the procedure, but you may be offered a sedative to help you relax.