5 Misconceptions About Spine Surgery
If you're living with a spine condition, spine surgery may be the solution you've been longing for. Unfortunately, however, there is no shortage of misconceptions about this procedure that may cause you to misunderstand your options and make poor choices.
So we're here to debunk some of the most common misconceptions about spine surgery and make it easier for you to make informed decisions that lead to long-term relief and a higher quality of life.
1 - Spine Surgery is Always a Major Procedure
When people hear the phrase "spine surgery," they automatically picture an invasive procedure with a lengthy recovery period. The truth is that most spine surgeries are minimally invasive and involve fewer, smaller cuts, less scarring, a reduced risk of complications, and a faster recovery than an invasive procedure. Minimally invasive spine surgery may be an option if you have a condition such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or a spinal infection.
2 - Spine Surgery is Usually Necessary
In most cases, spine surgery is not recommended. In fact, most spine conditions can be improved or resolved through a variety of conservative treatments. These may include rest, cold and hot therapy, medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy. Spine surgery is usually only performed in severe cases when conservative treatments deem to be ineffective. So if you have a spine condition, understand that spine surgery is a last resort.
3 - Spine Surgery Must Be Performed Multiple Times
Since spine surgery has a high success rate of 70% to 90%, you're unlikely to undergo it more than once. If you maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, exercise regularly with a focus on stretching and strengthening, and make other healthy lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of requiring another spine surgery.
4 - Spine Surgery Comes with Complications
While traditional spine surgery is conducted in 20% of cases, minimally invasive options are usually performed. These minimally invasive procedures paired with improved technology offer a lower risk of complications. Of course, your risk of complications may increase if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or another condition. However, most patients do not face any serious complications after surgery.
5 - Spine Surgery Leads to a Long Recovery
Many patients are afraid to undergo spine surgery because they believe they'll have to spend a lot of time away from work and other responsibilities. The good news is a long, painful recovery from spine surgery is a thing of the past. Believe it or not, many spine surgeries are performed in an outpatient environment and can allow you to return home right after your procedure. Discomfort typically only lasts between 3 days and 6 weeks.
If you're wondering whether you're a good candidate for spine surgery, don't hesitate to consult your doctor today.