Learning more about what spinal cord surgery involves is the next step for patients who have been diagnosed with a spine condition that requires them to undergo surgery. When the spinal cord is injured, it can be potentially life-threatening, requiring one to seek out treatment options as soon as possible. Ready to get the answers to frequently asked questions?
About spinal cord surgery
According to SpinalCord.com, for some individuals after a traumatic injury, spinal cord injury surgery is an immediate and necessary need. There are many goals when performing this type of surgery, including but not limited to relieving any pressure placed on the spinal cord, stabilizing the vertebral spine, removing any bone fragments, repairing any blood clots, repairing any herniated discs and repairing any fractured vertebrae. When a patient learns that they are in need of surgery, it will benefit them to learn everything they can about the surgical process.
The list below includes three frequently asked questions that people have about spinal cord surgery.
Why is spinal cord surgery necessary?
Examples of spine conditions that may require one to undergo a surgical process include being diagnosed with spinal stenosis; decompressing the spine by removing bone, discs or tumors; removing blood clots; or repairing herniated discs, fractured vertebrae or any spinal-related nerve damage. Spinal stenosis is currently the most common reason that someone would need to undergo surgery on their spinal cord.
What types of risks come with undergoing spinal cord surgery?
As with every surgical procedure, there will be associated risks. They may stem from the actual surgical process or from any medications used during the surgery. A shortlist of possible risks associated with spinal cord surgery include bleeding, infection, Dural tearing and the failure of mechanical devices inserted, like rods and screws.
How long does it take to recover?
It tends to take somewhere between six and 12 months for a spinal cord injury patient to recover from the surgical process. Patients will need to make regular appointments to get assessed on how they are doing, with the first appointment taking place two to three weeks after the surgery.
When it comes to the healing process, patients need to carefully follow the instructions given to them by their medical professional. Examples include avoiding certain medications, not using any form of nicotine, taking small walks, not driving, learning how to care for the surgical area, eating nutritional foods and not going back to work until approved by the medical professional.
Got more questions?
For those who have additional questions, the next step is making an appointment with a neurosurgeon so they can get the answers they need. It is important for patients to learn as much as possible about their spinal cord treatment options, as this allows them to understand which treatment will be right for them.
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