This interactive tool will not diagnose a back problem, but it will tell
you whether surgery might help reduce or get rid of symptoms related to your
low back problem. There are always risks with any surgery, so most people don't
want to have surgery unless there is a very good chance it will help them.
Although research shows that surgery is very likely to be effective for some
problems, it rarely helps with others.
This tool will help you
find out whether your own low back problem might be helped by surgery. After
you use this tool, you can show the results to your doctor when you talk to him
or her about surgery and your other options.
This tool is not
meant for people in emergency situations. Talk to your doctor
immediately if you have any of the following problems:
Bladder and/or bowel problems, including not
being able to go to the bathroom as you normally do or not being able to
control bowel movements or urination
Loss of feeling or rapidly
decreasing feeling over your feet and heels or in your "saddle area," which
includes any part of your body that might touch a saddle if you were on a
horse, including your buttocks, your inner thighs, and the backs of your
Increasing pain, weakness, numbness, or problems with
coordination in one or both legs
A fever for 2 or more
A serious injury, an accident, or a big fall in the last 2