Close to 1 million back surgeries are performed each year now in United States. The majority of them are elective, meaning that it is a quality-of-life decision to undergo the procedure and not an absolute necessity.
There are multiple factors to consider when making the decision to undergo back surgery. Here are Five of them.
1. The first consideration is whether or not to seek a second opinion. Spine surgery is never a decision to be taken lightly. Therefore, give some serious thought as to whether or not a second set of qualified eyes on your situation would be in your best interest.
Three things may occur from this second opinion. One would be whether or not the surgeon feels like the procedure is indicated. The second thing that may occur is the surgeon may feel like surgery is indicated but a different procedure and what has been planned would be the best option.
And the third thing that could happen is the surgeon feels like you should have the procedure that has been offered. Whichever occurs during the second opinion, at least it will help to have a second set of eyes looking at your situation.
2. The second consideration is to consider whether or not all attempts at conservative treatment have been tried. Because there are risks associated with spinal surgery, considerable nonoperative treatments should be tried first.
This may include physical therapy, Las Vegas Chiropractor treatment, pain medications, interventional Las Vegas Pain Management treatments and maybe even acupuncture. The point is that you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror down the road and say that you truly tried everything possible before undergoing the procedure.
3. A third consideration prior to undergoing back surgery is a risk assessment. There are quite a few risks associated with some spine procedures, whereas, others have just a few. However, no procedure is risk-free and a risk tolerance needs to be evaluated prior to signing up.
For instance, adult scoliosis procedures have a very high complication rate at over 50%. The risk of complications with a simple laminectomy are well under 5%. Regardless, be sure to listen very closely when your surgeon is describing the risks and benefits of the proposed procedure.
4. Another consideration prior to undergoing back surgery is a reality check on the potential outcomes. While a small percentage of back surgery outcomes are akin to a homerun in baseball, more often than not the outcome would be a double.
This would mean that in the case of degenerative disc disease, a spinal fusion or disc replacement may accomplish 50% pain relief as opposed to complete relief.
For a procedure like adult scoliosis correction, you may obtain 50% pain relief as well. Rarely, do these procedures provide 100% relief.
For instance, when the FDA study was performed looking at spinal fusion versus artificial disc replacement, over half of the patients in both groups were still taking narcotics over a year after the procedures.
5. The fifth thing to keep in mind prior to undergoing back surgery is the timing. Since these are elective procedures, they can be scheduled when an individual has time off from work or the best time and is it her life to accomplish the necessary time for rehab.
A procedure for degenerative disc disease will require at least 6 to 12 weeks of healing, whereas, an adult scoliosis procedure will take 6 to 9 months to fully recover.
With these five considerations, patients will be able to truly establish whether or not back surgery is in the best interest. At that point people will be able to look at themselves in the mirror and say they made the right decision even if a complication occurs.
The top pain management doctors in Las Vegas are with the Nevada Pain Network. Award Winning and Board Certified, the doctors work at Henderson and Las Vegas pain clinics that offer both medical and interventional pain management.
Over 50 insurances are accepted, with multiple clinics for convenience. This includes personal injury doctors in Las Vegas, Workers Compensation claims, PPO’s, Medicare and more.
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