Category: Spine Surgery, Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 8, 2015
With any surgical procedure there are a handful of inherent risks, from post-op infection to numbness in the extremities. Some of these risks are minor. Others, like memory loss, can have a major impact on a patient’s quality of life after a procedure. In this article we are going to discuss memory loss after spine surgery – the chances of it occurring, as well as some tips for prevention and treatment.
How is Memory Loss Defined?
There are many things that can cause memory loss, including various prescription drugs, alcohol abuse, head injuries, strokes, dementia, and other diseases that can impact the brain.
The severity of memory loss also varies widely. Some patients can’t remember what they did last Monday, while others may forget entire decades of their lives. Memory loss is generally divided into short-term and long-term memory loss. Short-term memory loss is more common and less severe than long-term loss of memory.
What is the Risk of Memory Loss after Surgery?
The risk of losing your memory after a minimally invasive spine surgery is small. The majority of spine surgeries do not deal with the brain, which is where our memory abilities are stored. Chances of memory loss may be higher when the procedure involves the brain itself.
You may experience a slight loss of memory when you wake up from your procedure as a result of the anesthesia, but this will likely just be temporary. Post-op medications may also affect your memory. If this happens be sure to notify your surgeon immediately so they can adjust the prescription.
Minneapolis Spine Surgeon
Spine surgery, just like any other type of surgery, comes with a certain level of risk. That being said, if you have a skilled surgeon on your side that has performed these procedures for years, your risk level decreases significantly. That’s why you should always go with a spine surgeon with experience.