Those who suffer from back pain often end up taking a back seat in the life they’d like to live. This is due to pain and lack of mobility. For some, spinal problems can be so severe and walking so painful, they are relegated to using a wheelchair for mobility. When exercise, pain medications and time fail to produce the desired results, spinal surgery is often the next choice.
Myths About Spinal Surgery
The idea of having surgery on your spine can be unnerving. Fears of permanent paralysis and months of recovery plague some people facing this option. What is seldom realized is that spinal surgery has changed drastically over the years. Techniques are less invasive and recovery time is a lot less than imagined. The minimally invasive surgery practiced today replaces much of the traditional surgeries. These newer, less invasive procedures treat only the area affected, have much less bleeding and have minimal scarring. Less time is needed to recover from the surgery, often only a few days.
Another widely held belief is that spinal surgery only makes the pain problem worse. In the past, there were patients who, after having spinal surgery, felt they were better off without it. Seeking out an experienced spinal surgeon and working with one who uses surgery as a last resort should result in pain relief. With the new laser surgeries and minimally invasive procedures, complications are decreased and recovery time is shorter than in traditional surgeries.
New Spinal Surgery Procedures
Most areas of life are seeing major changes as technology advances. The medical field is no exception, and spinal surgery patients benefit greatly from the advancements. For example, cervical artificial disc replacement has had years of clinical results. It is often used as an alternative to Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF.)
Fusion is still an option for some spinal conditions, however minimally invasive approaches are being implemented. Along with more bone graft options and innovations with implants, ACDF surgeries take less time. In many cases, patients who undergo the cervical fusion procedure are able to go home the same day or the day after surgery.
Patients with an osteoporosis compression fracture now have an alternative to nonsurgical treatment. Vertebral augmentation has been available for painful, fractured vertebrae for some time, and now it is also available for certain patients with osteoporosis compression fractures. New innovations make spinal surgery a pathway for pain relief for such patients that was not available before.
A Word of Caution
Spinal surgery is still a big decision, even with the latest innovations and technologies. It’s very important that you get an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Get a second opinion if necessary. Successful pain relief comes from having the correct procedure applied to the condition. Determining the cause of neck and back pain can be difficult; an accurate diagnosis is critical to developing a treatment plan that will lead to pain relief.
Don’t be rushed into spinal surgery. Take your time finding the right surgeon, with experience handling cases like yours. Getting a second and even a third opinion is quite common and even advisable when it comes to your health. Doctors are used to this, so don’t feel bad about seeking out additional opinions.
The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. are committed to helping our neighbors in and around the Port Charlotte lead healthy, safe lives. We are the trial lawyers who care. Contact us for your legal needs.