Preventing Nerve Damage During & After Spine Surgery

Category: Nerves | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 18, 2017

Spinal Nerve Damage

We recently had a reader reach out to us to ask if there was anything that could be done to treat nerve damage that occurred as a result of surgery. That gave us an idea for a blog topic, so below, we share some of the ways you can help prevent nerve damage after a spine surgery operation.

Treating Nerve Damage After Back Surgery

There’s not a lot that you can physically do after a spine surgery to treat nerve damage that may have occurred, but you may have more control than you think. Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind before and after spine surgery to reduce your likelihood of dealing with nerve damage.

Opt For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

When possible, most surgeons will recommend a minimally invasive operation compared to a more invasive operation. These minimally invasive techniques reduce the likelihood that nearby nerves or structures will be affected as the doctor works to access the surgical site. Ask your doctor if a laparoscopic procedure is possible for your back problem.

Physical Therapy

Participating in your physical therapy or rehabilitation regimen is another crucial aspect of reducing the likelihood of nerve damage. Your physical therapy will not be able to help nerves that were damaged during the operation itself, but physical therapy can help to reduce the development of scar tissue, which can envelop nerves and lead to problems. Really commit to your doctor’s rehab plan if you want to give yourself the best chance of preventing scar tissue-related nerve damage.

Failed Back Surgery Options

If you develop nerve damage in your spine as a result of the operation, you may need to undergo a second operation to take care of the new problem. Your doctor can decompress the damaged nerve or remove the nerve altogether. You may lose sensation in the area if the nerve is removed, but most patients prefer numbness or a lack of sensation to pain.

Nerve Injections

One final option for individuals who are dealing with nerve damage after a spinal operation is to consider corticosteroid injections. These pain injections help to calm irritation and inflammation that may be contributing to nerve pain in the area. These injections have a high rate of success in the short term, but they aren’t the best option for long term pain prevention. However, some people find relief through this option, so it is one to consider as you search for solutions.

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