Possible risks of degenerative spine surgery

All surgeries carry risks, and degenerative spine surgery is no exception. This is why surgery on your neck or back should always be considered as a last resort, only after an assortment of conservative treatments has been tried for several weeks or months. It’s also important to remember that not all surgical procedures aimed at eliminating nerve compression due to a degenerative spine condition are performed the same way. Each procedure involves its own set of risks and benefits that you must consider before making a decision regarding surgery. Read on to learn more about the possible risks of degenerative spine surgery and how to reduce your chances of developing these risks.

Looking to the future after degenerative spine surgery

Talking to different spine specialists about what you can expect after different types of surgeries is important. Ask about the projected recovery time for each surgery and the complications that could arise during rehabilitation. For example, failed back surgery syndrome is a condition that is not uncommon and sometimes follows highly invasive open neck or back operations. In fact, it is estimated that about 40 percent of patients who undergo traditional open spine operations experience failed back surgery syndrome. This often occurs if:

  • The bone, disc or other material compressing a spinal nerve was not properly removed during surgery
  • The body rejects a bone graft or hardware that was implanted
  • Nerve damage is sustained during the procedure
  • The surgery was performed on the wrong level of the spine
  • The surgery was performed based on an incorrect diagnosis

Symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome following degenerative spine surgery can take on a variety of forms, and may not be immediately identifiable as such because patients will naturally experience different types of discomfort during the recovery process. However, be on the lookout for numbness or tingling in the extremities, a return of your original symptoms, presentation of symptoms in another region of the neck or back, depression, anxiety or insomnia.

Reducing your chances of developing risks

Often, the best way to reduce your degenerative spine surgery risks is to opt for a minimally invasive procedure. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, offering a reduced risk of infection and complication.^ To learn more about procedures for degenerative spine conditions, contact us today.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.* We are here to help you get back to the activities you have been missing out on.