Thousands of procedures involving some part of the spine are performed each year in the United States, and many of them ultimately provide welcome pain relief along with other benefits. Assuming a proper diagnosis of a spine-related condition has been made, there could be positive results with a well-planned and performed spine surgery. Santa Monica patients should consider the following ways spine surgery could enhance their quality of life.
1. Reduced Pain
The most noticeable way spine surgery can enhance quality of life is by eliminating or minimizing discomfort. If you’ve been living with chronic back, neck, or radiating nerve pain for months or years, reduced pain could dramatically and positively impact your personal and professional life. You’re more likely to experience meaningful pain relief post-surgery if:
- There aren’t any underlying issues contributing to your spine pain, such as arthritis
- You’re actively involved in your recovery and physical therapy process
- You make additional lifestyle changes that are good for your spine (e.g. eating healthier foods, getting more exercise)
2. Increased Mobility
A lumbar herniated disc or compression of the sciatic nerve sometimes makes it difficult to walk without pain. Other times, certain movements might no longer be possible due to the pain. If you play sports or normally enjoy an active lifestyle, even a slight decrease in mobility could affect your quality of life. Increasing the stability of your spine or relieving pressure on a pinched nerve may restore your spine’s full range of motion and help with overall stability and flexibility.
3. Restored Independence
Being able to spend more time playing with your children or grandchildren, being more social, and getting back to the activities you once loved are just some of the ways successful spine surgery could restore your independence. Take a moment to think about things you are no longer able to comfortably do because of back pain. With spine surgery, you could soon be enjoying all of those things again. You may also have greater independence because of:
- Less reliance on medication
- Not having to depend on others as much for assistance with daily tasks
- An ability to take longer trips you previously avoided because of pain issues
4. Better Love Life
Over time, spine pain can make intimacy difficult, which may contribute to relationship issues or become a source of anxiety and stress. Certain functions may also be impeded because of spine conditions. In a study involving men 50 and under with lumbar spine disease, nearly 35 percent reported having erectile dysfunction. The right type of spine surgery may resolve such issues.
5. Enhanced Emotional Health
Spine pain can affect quality of life both physically and mentally. If pain is impacting your love life or ability to work or socialize, you may have underlying depression, stress, or anxiety. As long as you go into spine surgery with realistic expectations, you could see much-appreciated physical and emotional improvements as you recover.
Studies suggest pain is alleviated by as much as 60-70 percent for patients undergoing certain types of fusion surgery. You’ll also be pleased to know that many common decompression and stabilization procedures performed today involve less invasive techniques. If you’re a candidate for spine surgery of this nature, you may benefit from fewer infection risks since incisions are smaller and there’s a shorter recovery period.
From artificial disc replacement to extreme lateral interbody fusion, Santa Monica patients can rely on Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons to help them find effective relief for their spine pain. Call The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation.