4 Reasons For Numbness After Spine Surgery

Category: Nerves | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 12, 2016

numbness in cervical spine

Numbness or a tingling sensation is a somewhat common side effect after spine surgery. In many cases the numbness is little cause for concern, but other times it could be a sign of a much more serious issue. Today, we take a look at four reasons why you might be experiencing numbness in your lower back after spine surgery.

Anesthesia Lingers

If you are having an operation on your spine, odds are are you were given a nerve block or general anesthesia prior to the operation. Sometimes numbness lingers for hours after an operation simply because the anesthesia is still affecting the nerves in the area. It will generally wear off within 24-48 hours.

Nerve Removal

In some operations, nerves need to be removed because they are compressed or causing pain. A nerve debridement may leave you will a lack of sensation in a small portion of your spine. This means you’re not experiencing numbness, only a lack of sensation.

Nerve Damage

There’s a chance that the nerves are damaged so badly after an injury that their ability to relay sensation signals to the brain become impaired. Surgery can help to avoid further damage, but it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to restore function to those nerves. In the event of heavy trauma, or should a surgeon accidentally damage a group of nerves during surgery, nerve damage may leave you with a numbness-like sensation in your lower spine.

Nerve Impingement/Failed Surgery

A final cause of numbness after spine surgery could be the result of a failed operation or because spinal hardware is impinging a group of nerves. Surgeries don’t fail often, but when they do they can result in more issues than the initial injury, and sometimes this can involve numbness. There’s also the outside chance that new hardware compresses spinal nerves in such a way that numbness or tingling results, especially if you stay in a certain position for a long time.

For more information about numbness after spine surgery, contact a spinal specialist today.

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