Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 17, 2017
There are a lot of misconceptions flying around about spine surgery and its effectiveness, but oftentimes those myths are being championed by people who either didn’t have a good experience or are ill-informed about the procedure. Today, we hope to clear up some of those misconceptions. Below, we take a look at five incorrect assumptions about spine surgery.
“Spine surgery isn’t effective”
Maybe you heard that suggestion from a friend or a neighbor who underwent surgery. The fact is spine surgery is highly effective for people if they are willing to put in the work on their end. An operation won’t magically resolve your pain – it takes effort and a commitment to healing from the patient. You need to make healthy diet choices, find time to exercise regularly and complete your rehab or physical therapy programs if you want to see the best results from spine surgery.
“I don’t want to undergo a major operation”
Whether we’ve fixing a disc, decompressing an area or removing a tumor, odds are a laparoscopic procedure is available. These minimally invasive operations leave the patient with one or two small scars and have quicker recovery times. The days of having a huge scar from a spine surgery are in the past for the vast majority of individuals.
“There is a high risk of complications”
Minimally invasive operations have significantly helped reduce the likelihood of complications from a spinal surgery, but we also have better technology to monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure and anesthesia administration. Pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure do slightly increase the risk of a minor complication, but the vast majority of patients do not experience any troubling complications from their spinal procedure.
“Spine surgery leaves you worse off”
Oftentimes those with the worst experiences are the most likely to share the news and spread misinformation. In very rare cases a surgery can fail or a problem can develop, but oftentimes people feel that they are worse off after surgery simply because they didn’t achieve the level of relief they desired, even if their expected level of relief was unattainable. Again, surgery isn’t some magical fix to leave you pain free – you still need to rehab and condition. For every patient that feels worse off after surgery, there are 20 who have regained independence and decreased their pain levels after spine surgery.
“Spine surgery is too expensive”
This final misconception isn’t one that we can dispel off the bat, but if you have concerns about cost you should talk with your spine specialist and your insurance carrier. However, a good spine surgeon will never be quick to jump to surgery, and conservative care techniques are often very effective and low cost. Talk to your doctor about your non-surgical options and you may be amazed how little it costs to rid yourself of spine pain.