If you’ve tried everything to get rid of the pain in your back and nothing’s working, you might need cervical spine surgery. You may have always heard several myths about spine surgery that make you hesitant even to schedule a consultation. Before you rule out cervical spine surgery, learn about the debunked myths and talk to a spine surgeon.
Myth #1: Spine Surgeries Are Major Surgeries
False. While the spine is a large part of your body, not every spinal procedure is a major surgery. Some are minimally invasive as they only require a few small cuts instead of large incisions. Some of the minimally invasive spine surgeries include lumbar spinal stenosis, spinal infections, and some deformities, such as scoliosis, spinal instability, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and compression fractures.
Myth #2: Recovery from Spine Surgery Always Comes with Unbearable Pain
False. You’ll feel pain after any surgery, including cervical spine surgery. However, the pain is usually the worst in the first two or three days after surgery, but it subsides after that. You could feel moderate pain for up to six weeks, but it shouldn’t be severe. If you do have severe pain that doesn’t go away, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Myth #3: You’ll Become Addicted to Painkillers
False. While opioids are addictive, your surgeon will work with you to manage the right amount for your pain, and for the length of time, you need to take them. Your surgeon will also ensure you take them safely and correctly.
Myth #4: A Spinal Surgeon Always Recommends Surgery
False. Not everyone can or should have surgery. A spinal surgeon will evaluate you to see if something else is better for your situation, including physical therapy or acupuncture. The focus is on getting rid of your pain in the least invasive way.
Myth #5: Spinal Surgery Always Has a Long Recovery Time
False. While some surgeries do take a long time to recover from, not all do. Recovery also depends on outside factors, such as your age, overall health, and the part of your back being repaired. For example, a discectomy may take a couple of weeks to recover from, but a fusion could take up to four months. Your surgeon will let you know the average recovery time for someone of your age and health for the type of surgery you need.
Where to Find Cervical Spine Surgery in New York, NY
Todd J. Albert, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, serves New York and the surrounding areas. To find out more about cervical spine surgery, speak with Dr. Albert at Todd J. Albert, MD. To arrange a consultation, please call 212-606-1004.