Our doctors and therapists work diligently to ensure that our patients fully and completely understand the comprehensive picture of any type of procedure we recommend. This is particularly true for spine surgery, where there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what can and cannot be accomplished through the procedure.
By understanding the specific reasons behind our recommendations for spine surgery, our patients are fully informed about the procedure, what to expect, and what recovery will involve. We also address any specific questions our patients may have well in advance of the procedure.
To simplify this for our patients we have developed a list of 6 different factors everyone should know about spine surgery.
1. Not All Back Pain is the Same
Not all back pain is a result of the same type of condition. It is very important to spend time with our doctors to determine the exact cause of the back pain you are experiencing.
2. Not All Back Pain is Corrected with Surgery
Back surgery can only correct structural or identifiable issues with the spine, which can be modified or enhanced with surgery. Trauma to the spine or a herniated disk are now routinely addressed with spinal surgery. In addition, narrowing of the spinal canal, a condition known as spinal stenosis, is also effectively treated with surgery.
3. Doctors will Provide a Range of Possible Outcomes
The spine, with its combination of hard and soft tissue, muscles, nerves and connection with the rest of the body, is a very complex area of surgery. It is much more difficult to give a specific answer as to how effective the surgery will be. Typically, doctors will provide a range of outcome possibilities based on your individual case.
4. The Risks
Today’s back surgery is much less risky than surgery of only a few years ago. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are risks involved. Talking to our doctors will help assess the risk for your specific procedure.
5. Non-surgical Treatment Options
Our doctors typically view spine surgery as a last option when non-surgical treatment options are ineffective. However, in some cases, surgery may be the only option based on the pain and ongoing damage the trauma or injury may cause to the spine.
6. Recovery Time and Process
Spine surgery is just the first step in the process to living without the pain and discomfort. Depending on the type of surgery and your overall health and physical abilities, recovery can be three months or longer. During this time, you will attend physical therapy and have specific limitations on what you can do.
Talking to our doctors about spine surgery is the first step in determining if this is the right treatment for your spine health. To make an appointment, call us today and we can schedule a consultation and evaluation to outline your treatment options.