Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
If conservative treatments have failed to provide relief for your back discomfort, your spine specialist may recommend a surgical procedure. If you end up deciding to pursue a surgical correction, just how likely is it that the operation will be successful? In today’s blog, we take a broad look at the success rate of corrective spinal surgery and discuss some of the things you can do to increase your likelihood of a successful back surgery.
Spine Surgery Success Rates
Overall, spine surgery has a pretty high rate of success. Conservative estimates classify procedures as successful roughly 50 percent of the time, but other studies have found that up to 90 percent of spinal procedures are successful at reducing symptoms or alleviating the underlying issue. Of course, certain procedures will have different rates than others, as a minimally invasive debridement is much more likely to produce ideal results than an open procedure to remove a complex spinal tumor.
It’s also incredibly unlikely that you will die during your spinal procedure. A study of more than 800,000 spinal procedures found that the mortality rate was 0.13%, and typically other severe health issues caused problems for the procedure (liver disease, congestive heart failure, etc.) Another study of nearly 4,000 spine surgeries found that the overall complication rate was 7.6%, which is also extremely low when you consider what is being asked of your surgeon, your care team and your body. Even if your surgery doesn’t produce the exact reduction in symptoms that you had hoped, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll face additional complications as a result of the surgical procedure.
When back surgery fails or a surgery is deemed unsuccessful, it’s rarely because of a mistake by the surgeon. That’s not to say that this doesn’t happen, but spinal surgery is incredibly complex, and even when everything goes as intended during the operation, issues can develop during the healing process that jeopardize the success of your operation. Far more often than not, there is no clear underlying reason for a spine surgery failure. Healing simply did not progress as expected, hardware unexpectedly shifted or an infection developed at the wound site. You can work hard to reduce the likelihood of these issues, but they can’t be prevented 100 percent of the time.
And while we can’t control whether or not our surgery will be successful with absolute certainty, there are a number of things you can do to increase your likelihood of a successful operation. We go into greater detail about those aspects on this blog, but here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can work to increase your chances of undergoing a successful spine surgery.
- Find a spine specialist with experience who you have confidence in
- Pursue prehabilitation exercises
- Work to lose weight with diet and exercise before surgery
- Follow your doctor’s pre-op protocols
- Stick to your physical therapy and recovery plan post-op
- Clean your incision site as directed
- Eat a healthy diet before and after surgery
- Mind your activity restrictions after your procedure
- Manage any related health issues in the lead up to surgery
If you work to become a healthier version of yourself and you trust your care to an experienced and knowledgeable surgeon like Dr. Sinicropi, we’re confident that you can significantly improve your odds of a successful spinal operation. For more information on how we strive to provide each patient with the highest level of care, or to talk with our team to set up an initial appointment, reach out to the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.