Is Spine Surgery a Guaranteed Solution?

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 1, 2015

spine surgeonsFor some patients, spine surgery is seen as a last resort, while others view it as a cure all – the final solution to all their back pain issues. The truth is somewhere in between. In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not minimally invasive spine surgery can 100% guarantee pain relief.

Guarantees & Spine Surgery

There are a lot of spine surgeons that market spine surgery as the end-all cure for back pain. But the fact of the matter is that every patient is different, and there is no single surgery or other treatment that will guarantee pain relief. Some patients may respond well to conservative options like physical therapy or steroid injections; others may indeed find permanent pain relief after spine surgery. But even those patients who do experience reduced pain after surgery had no absolute guarantee that they would be completely pain free post-op. So if there are no guarantees, what are we left with? Simple: trust and communication between doctor and patient.

Things to Look Out For

In medicine there are no guaranteed treatments. But not every physician will tell you that. Here are a few warning signs to look out for when considering surgery:

  • A surgeon who doesn’t talk about the risks. Every surgical procedure comes with a degree of risk. A good surgeon will explain these risks to you before the procedure. If your surgeon tells you there are no risks, take a step back.
  • A surgeon who specifically guarantees you that a certain procedure is going to completely take away your pain.

Successfully treating back pain requires the surgeon and the patient to be on the same page as far as expectations. If a surgeon oversells a procedure as a panacea, the patient may be disappointed if something goes wrong, or if recovery takes some time. At the end of the day, a successful surgery is built on trust and communication between the patient and the surgeon, not guarantees. There is a sort of “leap of faith” required when you go into any surgery. But if you are informed about the risks and expectations, and you place trust in the hands of your surgeon, you will have the best chance of success possible. And that’s as close as you’ll get to a guarantee.

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