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Myths About Spine Surgery - Debunked!

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Priyank Uniyal 90% (10ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery, Fellowship in Spinal Surgery, FRCS
Orthopedic Doctor, Dehradun  •  13years experience
Myths About Spine Surgery - Debunked!

People with spine problems face tough choices when considering treatment. Depending on the severity and scale of the disorder, you will have to decide which treatment works the best for you, and keep an eye out for its long-term impact. Owing to the numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding spine surgery, many patients are unreasonably reluctant to consider this as a treatment option.
Before you make your mind, learn the truth behind these myths about spine surgery. 

• Myth: Spine surgery invariably leads to paralysis

Fact: With the introduction of modern technology in the field of medical science, the efficacy and success rates of spine surgery has improved significantly. The chances of paralysis following surgery are less than 1%. Latest advancements in operating techniques have made the procedure safer and more effective than before.

• Myth: You might require multiple surgeries following spine surgery in the future

Fact: In over 90% of all cases, one successful spine surgery at the right time is all you need to treat the disorder. Majority of patients can do without a second surgery. However, it is essential that patients follow all the instructions and preventive measures to make the surgery successful. The post-treatment guidelines include simple things, such as – eating healthy, reducing and maintaining body weight, exercising regularly, quitting tobacco etc. In rare cases, failing to keep up with these instructions may lead to the need for a second surgery.

• Myth: Spine surgeries are painful

Fact: This was once true when open spine surgeries requiring long incisions were performed – but not anymore. Spine surgeries are now relatively painless as compared to earlier times – all thanks to technological advancements. The modern-day minimally invasive procedure has made spine surgery less painful with no or minimal complications, as you need not go under the knife, literally. In fact, patients do not require anaesthesia before opting for the procedure.

• Myth: You will be bed-ridden for life after the surgery

Fact: The common belief among people is that they will never be able to walk again after spine surgery. But that is not true. With minimally invasive techniques and keyhole surgery, the patient is able to walk the very same day of the surgery. In most cases, they are discharged in a few hours following the procedure. Moreover, pain management techniques and physiotherapy have made it easier for patients to move about without much difficulty.

• Myth: The complication rates are very high in the case of surgery

Fact: With advancements in technology, the overall rates of complications have reduced drastically – less than 3% precisely. The state-of-the-art neuro-monitoring system monitors every nerve during the surgery and allows no scope for error. Surgeons have reportedly been able to avoid all nerve-related complications and offer a 100% success rate using this technique.
The decision to undergo spine surgery can be difficult and the misconceptions floating around do not make it easier. Nevertheless, distinguishing the facts from myths is important. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your physician. They can clear your doubts and help you find out if surgery is the appropriate approach to treat your condition.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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