Back Pain & The Risks of Back Surgery


Back pain can be serious, and it can have serious implications on your daily routines and overall quality of life experience. Many people are drawn to surgical remedies for back pain, even though, often enough, their effectiveness in ending pain is not well established. This is a particularly important consideration considering the fact that surgical procedures on the back can carry with them significant risks.


Surgery, as we all know, always has some kind of risk. Between the anesthesia and the invasive techniques of entering the body with instruments, and the presence of infection often found in medical facilities, dangers exists with any surgical event.


But back surgeries have other, more specific risks to take into consideration when weighting your options for treatment plans. The first of these is infection. As we pointed out, infection is a risk with any surgery, but in cases where bone grafts are used, or hardware is inserted to the body, the risks of infection increase. These infections can be serious enough to cause illness that leads to death.


Other risks associated with back surgery include leaks of spinal fluid that result from a tear of the membrane around the spinal cord that occurs during the procedure. Frequently, these leaks are seen during the procedure and fixed at the time. Still others will self-heal. However, some will go unnoticed and will not heal on their own. When this occurs, the patient can become susceptible to infections, spinal meningitis and headaches. Sometimes an additional procedure is required to correct the problem.


Spinal cord injury can also occur during surgery, and the injury can result in paralysis. While rare, these events do occur. There can also be nerve damage that occurs during the procedure. Never damage can manifest in many different ways, for example in a loss of movement or sensation. There are rare cases where this nerve damage can cause death.


And, as we elluded to, there are certain risks associated with anyone who is “brought” under for a surgical procedure. At their worse, these complications can caused death, though, again, this is rare.


Back surgery also tends to require a recovery period, both from the procedure itself as well as the anesthesia. During this period, often pain medications are administered to combat the surgical pain. Recovering from this period can be long and arduous, as simply laying in bed during the recovery period for a couple of days can greatly weaken the muscles that will be required to help drive the recovery.


So, in addition to the risks associated with back surgery, the recovery from back surgery can have its own set of potential complications.


Despite all of these risks, most surgical procedures to address back pain, do not in fact, address the root cause of the pain. As most cases of back pain can be resolved without surgery, by addressing the underlying causes of the pain – which are frequently related to imbalances in the muscles – patients can both free themselves of pain, and avoid the risk of serious complications from surgery.




Perfect Health System