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Spine Surgery - How To Avoid And When To Opt It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Sidharth Verma 91% (36 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Anaesthesiology, DNB Anaesthesiology, PDCC - Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai  •  12 years experience
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Hi!

I am Dr. Siddharth Verma and you are watching this video on Lybrate. I practice at Pain Relief Centre in Chembur and the topic for this video is how can you avoid a spine surgery and when not to avoid it? So, many times many patients come to us with this option that they want a second opinion and they have been advised a spine surgery and they want to avoid it and how they can avoid it. Typically, we have seen in our patients that they don't want to undergo any surgery and they have seen the worst happened to their colleagues or friends or they have heard bad things about surgery and that's why they don't want to go for it. So yes, you can avoid a lot of times you can avoid this surgery and you can get rid of your pain but there are some instances where you probably cannot avoid surgery. So when you can avoid surgery is when the when the compression is not much on your nerve roots and when the damage is not much and it is reversible and pain is itself become a disease, there is a neuropathic pain so in those cases you can avoid surgery but the surgeon will not suggest surgery anyway in those cases.

In another approach which you can follow to avoid an open surgery at least is that you can go for minimally invasive procedures. So with your pain specialist or with your spine pain specialist at pain relief centre you have this option of undergoing a minimally invasive procedure and by minimally invasive I mean that there is no open surgery, no prolonged hospital stays, you can get discharge on the same or the next day and these procedures can also have good results or similar results to the open procedures and without any side effects or with minimal side effects and a very common example of this procedure is the spine endoscopy which is being done for a lot of spinal indications now.

It has still not replaced surgery per but it's a viable alternative to especially for those patients who want to avoid this surgery and still get cured of their back pain. This procedure is done under local anaesthesia and it is the patient comes to the hospital and is taken to the operation theatre and lies prone on an operation table and the local area is numbed and with the help of a needle we reach his problem area and there we put in our endoscope, we see it on a big TV and on that TV we see a very small nerve also which can be seen in a very big you can say screen and it appears very big and we can actually do very fine things there and take out the offending portion. If there is a disc compressing or if there is a portion of a tissue intruding or something, we can always clear it out and give relief to the patient and the patient walks almost instantaneously and can walk, do his go to the washroom, do his routine activities.

We advise rest which means that patient cannot go for strenuous activity, moderate activity, cannot bend and lift weights but other than that is perfectly fine to move and the patient is fairly mobile, he can take care of himself and can resume work after a few weeks; by resuming work means just like he used to do before he had this kind of pain. So, in many conditions, this surgery can be avoided. However there are some indications where you will you may require an open surgery for example in many cases of long-standing stenosis where the patient has or needs multiple level decompression or when there is trauma especially when there is a paresis, there is cauda; even many cases of cauda can be treated with nowadays with the endoscopy and however there are still indications for open surgery and you should consult your pain specialist who can guide you appropriately and advise you regarding that. We, at Pain Relief Centre, are ready to help you, so if you have been advised a spinal surgery and you want an opinion, we welcome you to come to us and seek our opinion.

Thank you!

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