If you have excruciating back or neck pain impairing your quality of life and day-to-day activities, you may consider spine surgery to relieve your pain.
Spine surgery is an umbrella term for several surgical procedures that are performed to correct spine conditions and injuries,such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disk disease, and vertebral fractures, to name a few.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of any of these problems or some other spine problem and are considering spinal surgery, here are 5 things you should know before your surgery.
#1 Spine Surgery Is the Treatment of Last Resort
Most pain in the back can be successfully treated with conservative treatment options. This is why the spine doctors try to cure spine problems with nonsurgical treatments first.
Spine surgery is an option that is usually explored when various medications, different forms of physical therapy, cortisone injections, and other conservative treatments fail to provide sufficient relief from back pain even after months of therapy.
#2 Spine Surgery Can be Open or Minimally Invasive
When we hear the word “surgery”, all that comes to our mind is a large open incision. However, this isn’t always the case. Surgeries, especially spine surgery, can be minimally invasive – meaning instead of making a large incision to open the tissues and access the spinal column, your spine surgeon will make a small incision to do the task.
Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive surgery results in less blood loss, less pain, and a lower infection rate.
You can ask your spine surgeon if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.
#3 You Can Expect Post-Op Pain
Spine surgery is indeed highly successful at eliminating back pain;however, you can expect to have post-op pain. The good news is that this pain can be successfully managed.
Immediately after your surgery and during the recovery period, your spine surgeon and pain management doctor will use various modalities, such as medications(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, opioids,and local anesthetics) and physical therapy to manage your pain.
Typically, the pain should subside within a few days; if it does not, inform your spine surgeon immediately.
#4 Pre-Op Preparations Are Crucial Part of the Process
Preparing your body and home before your spine surgery is crucial to an easy and smooth recovery from the spine surgery. So, before the surgery, you must have ideal body weight, stop smoking and drinking, and stop taking medications that can affect the result of the surgery.
You should also make necessary adjustments in your home in advance to make things more convenient for you while you recover.
#5 You Can Get a Second Opinion
You have the right to a second opinion. So, if your surgeon has recommended surgery, ask if you can get a second opinion to weigh your options.
For example, your first surgeon may recommend open surgery, and the second surgeon may recommend minimally invasive surgery.In such a case, consider the pros and cons of each suggestion before making your decision.
Spine Surgery in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, and Castle Rock
Don’t wait another day to get the treatment you need to relieve your excruciating back or neck pain. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon and neurosurgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery have years of experience in diagnosing and treating a full range of nerve or spine conditions and injuries. Our expert spine surgeons use advanced techniques and procedures, including minimally invasive surgical procedures, to treat your spine or nerve condition.