Debunk Spinal Surgery Myths

There are many types of surgery for various spine conditions. As a result, myths can easily develop as people facing spine surgery ask family, friends, or strangers in online forums about their experiences with surgery.

Myth #1: The pain from surgery will be worse then simply living with the pain

There will always be some amount of pain and discomfort after any surgery. Thankfully ever-improving surgical techniques and technologies are making minimally invasive spinal procedures the norm. Smaller instruments and incisions and innovations like lasers allow for precision spine surgeries that provide ever-decreasing amounts of trauma to muscle, bone, and nerves and therefore create less post-surgical pain. After a spinal condition is mitigated via surgery and the affected nerves gradually recover from the procedure, the spinal pain you once experienced will become more manageable.

Myth #2: I will miss work for a substantial period of time

As long as a spine surgery is not complex and the result of severe trauma, you will usually be able to return to work after a few days of recuperation. Of course, it’s important to check with the physician to determine what work and personal activities are safe and appropriate given the specific post-operation recovery timeline and treatment and rehabilitation plans. Also, the amount of stress on the spine that your profession requires may influence the physician’s recommendation and even your employer’s ability to allow you to return to work due to safety, workman’s comp, productivity, and insurance concerns. Proactive communication with the physician and your employer is key to facilitating successful healing and avoiding post-surgery complications or additional injury.

Myth #3: I will get addicted to pain meds after the surgery

The physician and pharmacist will closely monitor the type, quantity, and potency of any prescribed medications, as well as their possible interactions with other prescriptions you may be taking. If you have been addicted to other substances before surgery, or addiction runs in your family, informing the physician of these factors will allow him or her to consider other appropriate and effective pain management regimens if necessary.

Myth #4: One surgery will place me on a path to other surgeries

Some follow-up spinal surgeries may be necessary in complex trauma cases, but most conditions are addressed with only one surgery. Additionally, the risk of any follow-up surgery decreases significantly when post-operation instructions are followed and spine-healthy lifestyle changes are made.

To learn more about spine surgery or to schedule an in-person consultation with a board-certified spine surgeon in Beverly Hills, call The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757. Our world-class physicians can help determine the cause of your pain and review possible options, including spinal fusion surgery, motion-preserving spine treatments, and non-surgical spine treatments.