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Spine Surgery Myths

  • Apr 03
  • Neuro & Spine Care

Spinal Surgeries: Debunking The Myths Of Backbone Procedures

 

The spine or the backbone is essentially the structure on which our mere existence depends. Spinal disorders are not only excruciatingly painful but also can cripple the patient completely, compromise the quality of life – if not treated on time. Many a time, patients tend to ignore the severe symptoms related to spinal disorders and neglect the underlying causes. Fortis Hospital, Cunningham road treats various spinal conditions. The success stories we share where patients swung back to normalcy in no time are a testimony to the expert care given by our doctors, surgeons, diagnostic tools, and exceptionally trained paramedical staff including physiotherapists.

And if you are worried a spine surgery can push you into a bedridden state and disability that’s not true!

The following are the most common myths and facts. However, talk to your doctor for better understanding and dispel your doubts.

Read on to know the myths and facts.

Myth:

Spine surgery is done to repair dislocated disc.

Fact:

Not True.

The main positive outcome of spine surgeries is always aimed at relieving the pain and preventing neurological deficits, but not to repair the damaged disc. However, before going for surgical intervention, the doctor might ask the patient to try conservative methods of management like medicines, physiotherapy for alleviating the painful symptoms.

 

Myth:

Pain will be completely relieved after surgery.

Fact:

It’s True.

There are two kinds of pain.

Pain due to nerve or spinal cord compression, or pain due to surgery.  In most cases, the surgery pain due to nerve compression will be relieved significantly.  Pain due to surgery will be temporary, will take few days to go and simple analgesics will help.

 

Myth:

It is unsafe to undergo spine surgery and it is should be the last resort

Fact:

Not True.

Recent medical advancements, well-trained doctors’ operating in a highly equipped hospital environment ensure a positive outcomes, making spine surgery safe. Do not get jittered by the stories shared by others. Talk to your doctors understand your problem and evaluate for the cause. In recent years it is safe to undergo surgery if it is correctly diagnosed and indicated.

 

Myth:

If I undergo spine surgery once, I may have to do it again and again.

Fact:

Not True.

Most of the patients who undergo spine surgery for a right problem with accurate diagnosis may not need not to undergo surgery again and again. It also is a rare occurrence, unless the patient is suffering from multiple spine problems. To combat pain and further weakening of neurological deficits, one should practice lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking, consuming, healthy, balanced diet, weight loss, regular workouts, and follow up with the doctor.

 

Myth:

Spine surgeries have a bad outcome.

Fact:

Not True.

Most patients get back to their normal life within a week after surgery, thanks to advanced medical and surgical techniques.

 

Myth:

I will be bedridden, or wheelchair-bound after surgery.

Fact:

Not True.

The techniques in performing spine surgeries have evolved over the years and are not limited anymore. Whether it is open spine surgery or  Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) main goal of spine surgery is to prevent the further compression of neural elements and prove the stability to the spine. In recent years complications due to spine surgery have become very slim.

Also, the possibility of bedridden or wheelchair-bound with intact neurological status is rare, depending on the severity of the problem before surgery.

 

Myth:

The patient would require many days of bed rest post spine surgery.

Fact:

Not True Always.

With modern medical technologies, patients start walking within 24 hours or the next day. Regular physiotherapy enables movement and would not require bed rest unless advised otherwise in rare cases.

 

Myth:

I will develop problems related to bladder and bowel after spine surgery.

Fact:

Can Be Case-Specific.

Few patients complain about problems related to urinary tract dysfunction and constipation post-surgery. It is mostly due to anesthesia, dietary changes, and stress and would go away in few days. The surgeon will follow all standard guidelines to prevent these complications.

 

Myth:

I will become impotent after spine surgery.

Fact:

Not True.

Impotency or erectile dysfunction can be caused due to various factors including stress. Ample rest, regular physio helps you become normal again and it would not affect your sex life. In severe cases like caudal equina due to spinal problems or neglected spine can lead to impotency, urinary, and feral incontinence- if proper advice is not followed.

 

Myth:

The doctor will put a steel rod inside my back.

Fact:

May Be True In Certain Cases

They are not steel rods but are made of titanium or PEEK material and a bone graft is done.  These are used in the case of spinal fusion which permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the backbone. After the surgery, these bones fuse into one and the metal rods do not cause any issues in your movement. The patients can recover and get back to normalcy in just a few weeks.

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned are actually frequently asked questions mostly myths. While few patients encounter certain conditions, it may differ from person to person. We would strongly recommend talking to the respective specialist in person, for dispelling and to gain clarity over doubts.

You can book an appointment with eminent neurologists, neuro and endovascular surgeons by clicking HERE:

About Fortis

With 56 hospitals across the nation and over 10,000 beds, Fortis Healthcare Limited is a leading integrated healthcare delivery service provider in India. For over 26 years, Fortis Hospitals have been committed to the cause of getting people back to their lives faster and stronger.

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