Who is NOT a Good Candidate for Spine Surgery

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 30, 2014

surgery consultationWe talk a lot on this site about minimally invasive spine surgery and how it can help people return to a pain free life. But spine surgery is not the ideal treatment option for everyone. We’ve already covered at length who is an ideal candidate for spine surgery. In this post we will further answer that question by defining who is not an ideal candidate for spine surgery.

Those who Respond to Conservative Treatments

In most cases involving patients with back or neck pain, physicians will recommend starting with conservative treatment options such as pain medication, physical therapy, injections, and the like. There are numerous benefits to these non-surgical treatments:

  • They are cheaper than spine surgery
  • They offer less risk

If these treatments work, it is a win-win for both doctor and patient. Unfortunately, these methods do not work for everyone. When they fail, surgery is often the next viable option.

Certain Elderly Patients

For patients who are very old, spine surgery may not be the best option. Even minimally invasive surgery requires time for the body to heal itself. Some elderly patients, especially those who suffer from other conditions, are simply not up to the recovery required, and are better off with non-surgical treatments.

Those at Increased Risk for Infection

All surgical procedures are accompanied by a certain amount of infection risk. Medical professionals do everything they can to sterilize the operating room and the necessary surgical tools, but it is difficult to completely guard against infection. Patients who have conditions that put them at an elevated risk for infection may not be good candidates for spine surgery.

Every patient’s situation is different. Whether or not you are a good candidate for spine surgery depends on your condition, medical history, and age. Your doctor will be able to make a sound decisions based on your specific circumstances.

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