Spine surgery, whether opting for traditional spinal fusion or a motion-preserving spine procedure, is serious step towards finding meaningful relief from persistent back pain. While there is often more focus on the procedure itself, it’s the subsequent recovery period that determines the ultimate success of the surgery. A recent study takes a closer look at how patients recover based on their relationship status.
Martial Status and Recovery
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery, considered the marital or relationship status of 1,500 people, categorizing patients as single and never married, divorced, widowed, or married. Patients in the married group generally experienced a better recovery than patients falling within the other categories.
Pre-Surgery Advantage for Married Patients
Previous studies on spine surgery recoveries have found that married people, in general, tend to be healthier going into surgery than non-married individuals. The study found that there was a link between increased death rates and disability levels following surgery and marital status among the participants. Mutual support from a spouse tends to encourage better healthcare practices such as:
• Going to regular doctors’ appointments
• Managing preexisting conditions
• Maintaining a healthy diet
• Getting regular exercise
Increased Risk for Non-Married Patients
The study found that divorced, widowed, or separated participants were about 40 percent more likely to suffer complications or setbacks following surgery. Stats were similar for subjects who never married, with one in five either dying or experiencing post-surgery issues.
The Role of Social Support
Support from a partner or spouse can often influence choices like which hospital a patient chooses for their procedure and even what questions are asked to spine surgeons and doctors before determining that surgery is really the best option. Married people also tend to have a better support network that extends beyond having help with daily chores and personal care tasks.
Patients with a significant other also tend to be more likely to discuss any emotional issues they may be dealing with following surgery. This is significant because post-surgery stress and depression can also affect recovery. Research like this shows the importance of having support not just from a spouse, but also from friends and family members when considering spine surgery.
If you’re considering undergoing spine surgery for your back pain, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of experienced doctors at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae can identify the source of your back pain and help you determine the best treatment options, including minimally invasive spinal surgery, decompression spine surgery, and conservative spine treatments as well. Call (310) 828-7757 and request and in-person consultation today.