Back Surgery: Is It Worth the Risk?

April 24, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — thespineanddisc @ 8:12 pm
Surgeon pointing to vertebrae on a model spine

When you spend a long time battling back pain, the idea of having surgery performed to stop it can sound very appealing. But just like any other kind of surgery, this procedure carries the risk of various complications. In a worst-case scenario, you may end up suffering from further pain and impairment, and you might even require additional treatments afterwards. Before you decide to commit to back surgery in Culver City, you should take the time to learn more about the risks involved – as well as other, less-invasive options.

Potential Complications of Back Surgery

Your doctor will need to evaluate your overall health in order to determine the actual risk of surgery. Below are just a few possible examples of complications that might occur:

  • Anesthesia Complication: Anesthesia needs to be administered so that you don’t experience any discomfort from the procedure. A small number of people may have an adverse reaction to anesthesia, possibly due to existing medical problems.
  • Blood Clots: Blood clots have a tendency to form in your veins after surgery, particularly in the legs (which can potentially be an issue if the procedure is specifically addressing your lower back). Excessive blood clots can stop the flow of blood from the legs back to the heart, leading to swelling and pain.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: There is a chance that the spinal cord could become injured after failed back surgery. Since the spinal cord contains the nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body, an injury could result in paralysis in specific areas.
  • Chronic Pain: Sometimes surgery won’t relieve your pain; in fact, it might actually make it worse. For this reason, back surgery isn’t usually recommended if you’re only experiencing back pain in the absence of other symptoms.
  • Pharmaceutical Dependency: Many patients are prescribed opioids to deal with their pain after back surgery. This runs the risk of triggering an opioid addiction, causing them to become dependent on pain relievers.

What are the Alternatives to Back Surgery?

Many people opt for natural non-surgical options in order to avoid the risks of back surgery in Van Nuys. For example, spinal decompression is typically an excellent option for relieving back pain and other forms of discomfort. Your chiropractor will gently stretch the spine, taking some of the pressure off of the discs and nerves that are currently feeling the strain.  Laser therapy is another possible option. Special light energy is directed at the site of a back pain or injury, penetrating the damaged cells and stimulating them to heal at a faster rate.

Naturally, there are situations where back surgery is truly necessary (such as severe scoliosis in teenagers that will only get worse over time), but there’s a reason why you may want to opt for noninvasive treatments when possible. Make sure that you thoroughly explore all of your options and understand all of the risks involved before seeking spinal surgery; it could mean the difference between stopping your pain and suffering a whole new kind of pain.

About the Author

Dr. Brigitte Rozenberg has been treating patients in the greater Los Angeles area since 1995. She specializes in the field of non-surgical decompression, allowing her patients to recover from back pain without having to undergo invasive surgery. If you have been suffering from chronic discomfort in your spine lately, you can schedule an appointment at her practice, The Spine & Disc Center, by visiting her website or calling (310) 361-9066.

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