We look for all these different things to try to make chronic back pain better. There are some certain instances in which surgery can help people with chronic back pain. The first instance is when people have true instability in the spine. Instability is a fancy medical term and even defined by the experts can be very tough to pin down exactly. It's almost like the Supreme Court justices. I know it when I see it, but stability refers to the fact that the vertebra is which sit one on top of another may slip forward generally. Slipping backward is usually not such a big deal, but if it slips forward and it moves a lot, sometimes you can help back pain by taking away that slip in the sense of making it solid. That's a fusion and in this day and age that usually is accompanied by screws and rods or another mechanism of holding the bones until the fusion can get solid. The other thing that sometimes with chronic low back pain that you can help or things that maybe grow in the bone, and these are more esoteric and probably not appropriate for this audience, but the imaging defines that and if you operate on those. And the whole spectrum can be everything from simple kinds of surgeries to very complex kinds of surgeries for things that grow in the bone.
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