Spine surgery can often alleviate symptoms of certain conditions and has helped restore the quality of many people's lives. If you're unsure of whether or not spine surgery is right for you, your doctor will review your symptoms and other details related to your condition and overall health to help you decide if you should undergo a procedure. The following factors may be used to determine if you're a good candidate for spine surgery.
Your Pain Level
If you experience chronic, nagging pain because of your spine condition or your pain is especially intense, spine surgery may be the only treatment that offers you long-term relief. Your spine condition that was caused by an injury, old age, or degenerative disease may be putting pressure on nerves and causing your pain, and spine surgery can free any nerves from entrapment to try to alleviate your discomfort.
Prior Non-surgical Treatments
Non-surgical intervention is usually used first to try to treat spine problems. Massage therapy, manual adjustments, and pain medications are among the most common non-surgical spine treatments that often reduce symptoms. If these or other non-invasive treatment methods have failed, spine surgery will usually be recommended. Even if you experience some relief from taking pain medicine, surgery may be the only way to stop the pain and other unpleasant symptoms for good.
If you're an older adult, spinal surgery may not be advised. Elderly people often take longer to heal and are likelier to experience complications from surgery than younger people. For older patients, doctors usually recommend trying a series of non-surgical treatments for back pain and other problems that are related to conditions of the spine. However, some patients who are over the age of 80 have responded well to surgery, so your doctor might still recommend a procedure if they believe that it is the only way to effectively treat your condition.
Other Medical Conditions
Other medical conditions that you may have could complicate surgery and make a procedure riskier. Diabetics often have greater chances of experiencing complications from spine surgery. If you're anemic, your doctor may recommend putting off surgery until your anemia is treated. Severe osteoporosis can further complicate a spinal procedure. Problems that affect your kidneys and heart could also make you ineligible for surgery.
These are just a few of the factors that are often considered when spine surgery is a possible treatment option. If you're an ideal candidate for spine surgery and you and your doctor choose this option, your procedure can be performed in a safe medical facility with attentive health care staff who will work to make sure that each phase of your surgery goes according to plan.