Are you at your wits’ end with back pain, despite having tried every possible option, from exercise to pain relievers? If you’re now contemplating spine surgery, don’t worry you’re not alone. However, it’s normal to feel hesitant about such a decision. There are many myths out there about spinal surgery therapy that can create misunderstandings and fears.
But fear not! We’ve got you covered, having debunked seven of the most common spinal surgery therapy myths. So, if you’re feeling confused and unsure, read on to clear up any doubts you may have about this last-resort treatment for spinal issues.
Myths Related to Spinal Surgery Therapy
1. Myth: If you visit a spine surgeon, you’re bound to end up having surgery.
Fact: This is a common misconception about spinal surgery therapy. Experienced spine surgeons get in touch with their patients regularly to discuss a range of spine surgery treatment options, including surgery. However, surgery is not always necessary, and many spine-related issues can be resolved without it. In fact, surgery is only recommended in cases of severe or excruciating back pain where other treatments have been ineffective. Ultimately, the decision to undergo spine surgery is based on a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical reports and condition, not simply on the patient’s visit to a spine surgeon.
2. Myth: All spine surgeries are major operations.
Fact: This is a common misconception. While the spine is a complex structure, modern medical technology has made it possible to treat many spinal conditions using minimally invasive procedures, commonly known as keyhole surgery. These techniques use smaller incisions, leading to less scarring, post-operative pain, and reduced risk of infection, allowing for a significantly faster recovery time. Even if keyhole surgery is not an option, advances in spinal surgical techniques, such as computer navigation, intra-operative neuro monitoring, and robotic surgery, have made even the most complicated spine surgeries faster and safer than conventional methods. In some cases, minimally invasive procedures can even be done on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the same day. So, don’t assume that spine surgery always means a lengthy and complicated operation.
3. Myth: Spine surgeries are always risky.
Fact: This is a common misconception. Spine surgery is generally considered a safe procedure, with a low risk of complications. In fact, advances in medical technology and surgical techniques have made spine surgery safer than ever before. Minimally invasive spine surgery, in particular, has significantly reduced the risks associated with the procedure. Minimally invasive surgery is performed through smaller incisions, resulting in less blood loss, reduced risk of infection, and a shorter spine surgery recovery time. In many cases, patients can be discharged from the hospital the next day and return to work within a few days, depending on the type of spine surgery. While all surgeries carry some risk, modern spine surgery techniques are safe and effective for treating a range of spinal conditions.
4. Myth: After spine surgery, you’ll have to remain in bed for months.
Fact: This is not true in modern times. With advancements in medical technology and surgical techniques, the recovery time after spine surgery has significantly reduced compared to previous times. Patients can typically walk properly within 1-2 days after the surgery and resume their daily activities as usual. Minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) techniques have further reduced recovery time, causing less pain, a smaller scar, improved mobility, and a shorter hospital stay. The surgeon will determine whether to use an open approach or minimally invasive technique based on the patient’s specific condition.
5. Myth: Spine surgery will amplify the pain.
Fact: It is common for patients to worry about experiencing more pain after surgery than before. However, this is not necessarily true. While there may be some discomfort during the recovery period, it is often less severe than in traditional surgical procedures. Minimally invasive spinal surgery, which utilizes a smaller incision, reduces the amount of pain experienced after surgery. In addition, pain management plans can be tailored to each patient’s specific needs to minimize discomfort. It’s important to discuss pain management options with your doctor before the surgery to ensure a comfortable recovery.
6. Myth: You will have a restricted lifestyle after spine surgery.
Fact: This is a common misconception that is not entirely true. While certain activities may be restricted after spine surgery, the goal of the surgery is to restore the patient’s quality of life as much as possible. The extent of activity restrictions following surgery is largely dependent on the type of surgery and the patient’s overall health. In some cases, there may be no restrictions other than avoiding unnecessary risks to the spine, which applies to everyone. It’s important to discuss any lifestyle concerns with your doctor prior to the surgery. They can provide guidance on what activities are safe and what modifications may be necessary during the recovery period.
7. Myth: Painkillers would be your only retort after surgery.
Fact: This is a common concern for many patients, but it’s important to understand that the risk of addiction to painkillers following spine surgery is relatively low when prescribed and taken correctly. Opioids are potent pain relievers that are frequently prescribed for post-op spine care, and pain management, and they do carry a risk of addiction if not used properly. However, your doctor will work closely with you to ensure that you are taking them safely and correctly. In many cases, non-opioid pain medications and alternative pain management techniques such as physical therapy and acupuncture can also be used to manage pain following spine surgery.
Spinal surgery is a complex procedure that has benefited from significant advances in medical technology. By debunking the common myths about spinal surgery therapy mentioned above, patients can make informed decisions and understand the benefits of modern spinal surgery techniques. Furthermore, also opting for rehabilitation after spine surgery might help them minimize the trouble, amplify their recovery and enhance their quality of life.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take to recover from spinal surgery therapy?
The recovery time for spinal surgery therapy depends on the type of surgery and the patient’s overall health. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
2. Is spinal surgery therapy painful?
Spinal surgery therapy may cause some pain and discomfort during the recovery period, but the level of pain varies depending on the type of surgery and individual tolerance. Pain management plans can be created by doctors to help alleviate discomfort.
3. What are the benefits of spinal surgery therapy?
The benefits of spinal surgery therapy include relief from chronic back pain, improved mobility and quality of life, correction of spinal deformities, and prevention of further damage to the spine.
MPT physiotherapist. Lead Therapists. Neurology rehab Consultant . Certified Dry Needling Practitioner.
Accomplished Therapy Lead, dedicated to empowering individuals through effective communication.