The Risks of Delaying Spine Surgery

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 4, 2015

surgeonsThe decision to go forward with surgery is often a difficult one. The patient has to consider a multitude of factors – the treatment options available, the risks associated with each procedure, their age & current health, and more. Taking the time to weight the pros and cons is essential, but there is a point at which delaying your procedure can be harmful. In this article, we are going to talk a bit about the risks of waiting too long to undergo spine surgery.

Delaying Spine Surgery

Some surgical procedures require more immediate attention than others. Accidents and acute injuries may require emergency surgery to save the patient. For example, a person who sustains a spinal cord injury in a car crash may need immediate surgery to prevent permanent nerve damage and paralysis. In these cases, the patient may not have any time to consider their options.

In other, non-life threatening cases, patients generally have some time to consider their options. However, there may be a finite amount of time to make a decision. Especially when discs or vertebra are impacting the nerves of the spine, time is of the essence. Pinched nerves can be corrected, but once nerves sustain permanent damage, there are no further treatment options. Permanent nerve damage typically means permanent paralysis. Spine surgery can often prevent paralysis and pain by freeing up the impinged nerves.

Talk to Your Surgeon

During your pre-surgical consultation, ask your surgeon if time is a factor when considering your procedure. You may have months (or a year) to make the decision, or you may need to act quickly to prevent any permanent damages to your spine. In any case, your surgeon will provide their best recommendations for your condition and explain the timeline in which you have to work.

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