4 Common Spine Surgery Complications

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 25, 2014

surgery complicationsEvery surgery comes with a certain amount of risk, and spine surgery is no exception. The minimally invasive procedures we specialize in have significantly decreased risk compared to traditional spine surgeries, but there are still potential complications. In this article we will examine a few spine surgery complications and discuss how to best avoid these risks.

Anesthesia 

Nearly all spine surgeries require some level of anesthesia. Anesthesiology is a complicated medical specialty – that’s why some medical professionals devote their entire careers to it. They type and amount of anesthesia used may interact negatively with any other drugs in your system. The best way to prevent anesthesia complications is to speak directly with your surgeon and anesthesiologist about the possible consequences and be sure to inform them of all the drugs you are taking, as well as any present medical conditions.

Bleeding

Some blood loss during surgery is expected and generally nothing to worry about. There is, however, the risk of unexpected blood loss, which can occur if blood vessels are harmed during the course of the procedure. In the worse cases, a blood transfusion may be required after the procedure. In some surgeries it may be an option to donate some of your own blood before the procedure to use in the event that a transfusion is necessary.

Nerve Injury

The spine is wired with nerves that transmit feeling to every part of your body. Spine surgeons must utilize great precision to avoid harming nerves during a procedure. Minimally invasive procedures significantly reduce the risk of nerve damage during spinal procedures.

Hardware Issues

Certain procedures, such as an artificial disc replacement or spinal fusion, require the use of hardware. It is possible for this hardware to loosen or become displaced over time or as the result of a post-op physical injury.

 

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