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Back Pain Specialist

Surgical Spine Associates

Eugene A Bonaroti, MD, FACS

Board Certified Neurological Spine Surgeon with locations in Irwin, Cranberry, and Washington, PA

Back pain is a common problem that can turn into a chronic condition and stop you from enjoying your life. At Surgical Spine Associates, Eugene Bonaroti, MD, FACS, offers comprehensive care that begins with conservative treatment and avoids surgery as long as possible. Should you need surgery, however, you can count on his skill as a neurosurgeon and his decades of experience performing spinal procedures. If you need relief from back pain, call one of the offices in Irwin, Cranberry, or Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, or book an appointment online today.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes back pain?

Back pain is often caused by pulling a muscle or ligament, whether from heavy lifting, repetitive movements, or an overuse injury.

As you get older, however, you’re more likely to develop back pain due to degenerative conditions that compress the nerve roots or spinal cord, such as:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Degenerative scoliosis
  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis

You can also develop back pain if you have a sacroiliac (SI) joint problem. The SI joint connects your hip with the lower spine. When the joint is inflamed or suffers degenerative damage, it causes pain that’s often felt in your lower back.

What symptoms develop in addition to back pain?

When you have a compressed spinal nerve, you’ll also experience symptoms such as pain and tingling that follows the nerve. One of the most common examples is sciatica, an excruciating pain that radiates from your lower back through one side of your buttock and down one leg.

In severe cases of nerve damage, you can also develop numbness and muscle weakness in your legs, as well as bladder and bowel dysfunction.

How is back pain treated?

After performing a comprehensive exam, evaluating your symptoms, and ordering diagnostic imaging if needed, Dr. Bonaroti develops an individualized treatment plan, beginning with conservative options and turning to surgical intervention only when needed.

Conservative treatments

As long as you don’t have severe nerve problems, Dr. Bonaroti always starts your treatment with the most effective and least invasive approach.

For example, he may prescribe medication to relax your muscles or reduce inflammation. He may also recommend physical therapy to strengthen your back and alleviate your symptoms.

If you continue to struggle with pain or your symptoms get worse, Dr. Bonaroti may recommend an interventional therapy such as spinal cord stimulation, or he may talk with you about your surgical options.

Minimally invasive surgical procedures

When performing surgery, Dr. Bonaroti uses minimally invasive techniques that cause less trauma and promote a faster recovery. As an expert in cutting-edge technology, he offers many options.

Some patients may be good candidates for the Intracept Procedure®, which uses radiofrequency energy to stop specific nerves from transmitting pain signals.

Dr. Bonaroti may treat a herniated disc with a discectomy to remove the damaged portion or the entire disc. After the disc is removed, many surgeons turn to a spinal fusion, but Dr. Bonaroti avoids fusion and performs an artificial disc replacement instead.

He also has extensive experience performing several procedures to decompress nerves. If the SI joint is damaged, Dr. Bonaroti may perform an SI fusion to stabilize the joint.

If you suffer from back pain, call Surgical Spine Associates or schedule an appointment online.