Spine Surgery May Help Individuals Regain Their Sex Life

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 29, 2016

Spine Surgery & Sex Life

As we’ve talked about on the blog before, spine injuries and back pain can get in the way of living your normal life. It can affect your ability to work, how often you exercise, and for others it can take a toll on their sex life. However, new findings published in Spine found that back surgery may be the best option to help individuals regain their sex life when dealing with significant spine pain.

Research Findings

For their work, researchers analyzed a randomized trial of older patients who were suffering from certain spinal conditions. Patients were analyzed based on whether they underwent spinal surgery or received nonoperative treatment for their back pain. Here’s what they found:

  • Of the 1,235 patients they examined, 71 percent said their sex lives were important to them, and 39 percent said their condition was affecting their enjoyment of sex prior to treatment.
  • When examining the two groups (surgery vs. nonoperative treatment) who cared about their sex life three months after their treatment, researchers found the surgery group was faring much better sexwise.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of patients who underwent a surgical intervention still experienced pain that impacted their sex life, compared to 40 percent of patients who underwent non-surgical treatment.
  • Successful surgical treatment wasn’t short term, either. The majority of patients who underwent surgery still noticed these improvements four years after their operation.

“Sex life is a relevant consideration for the majority of patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis,” study authors wrote. “Operative treatment leads to improved sex life-related pain.”

Sex After Spine Surgery

Researchers say the study did not go into detail about the patient’s sex life, and while they want to conduct future studies to learn more about the correlation between spine surgery and an improved sex life, they believe the study will help open the door for patients and doctors to discuss sex quality when a patient is dealing with spinal stenosis or degeneration.

“The impetus behind our study was to initiate the process of understanding how back surgery affects patients’ lives,” said study senior author Dr. Shane Burch. “An important aspect for many patients includes sex life. We have very limited data to discuss this topic, and we need to do a better job for our patients to inform them of what to expect after surgery.

So while this surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all option if back pain is affecting your sex life, it’s important to understand the correlation between the two and to bring up any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your primary care physician and spine surgeon can walk you through your options and help you decide which method of treatment is best based on your needs and desires post surgery.

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