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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

The 21 Common Risks Associated with Herniated Disc Surgery

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 01:55 PM

surgery risksIf thinking about herniated disc surgery has got you worried—you’re right to be concerned. Back surgery is risky. As the best back surgeons will tell you, spinal disc surgery should only be considered if all safe, less-invasive and natural treatments have failed. And natural treatments have an excellent success rate, especially research-proven, safe and effective Functional Disc Rehydration™.

The fact is, choosing a surgical option for a herniated disc can create more problems than it solves and complications can be life threatening. Typical surgeries include the following, with more than one often done at the same time:

  • Laminectomy: The surgeon removes a vertebral bone or part of the bone, called the lamina.
  • Foraminotomy: In this procedure, the surgeon shaves away bone at the sides of the vertebrae to enlarge the nerve root opening or foramen. 
  • Discectomy: The surgical removal of the herniated (bulging) part of a disc.
  • Spinal fusion: Permanently fuses together (connects) two or more spinal bones.
  • Kyphoplasty: The surgeon inserts a balloon-like device to expand compressed vertebrae before vertebroplasty procedure.
  • Vertebroplasty: Bone cement is injected into compressed vertebrae.
  • Artificial disc implantation: Developed as a potential alternative to fusion, although a major manufacturer of discs has been sued.

The likelihood of complications increases with age and the presence of other health conditions. Here are just some of the common surgical risks:

  1. Recurring disc herniation after surgery, in the same spot or elsewhere along the spine
  2. No or little improvement: back pain the same or worse than before surgery
  3. Anesthesia reaction
  4. Urine retention
  5. Intestinal dysfunction
  6. Blood clots and vein swelling (thrombophlebitis)
  7. Cerebrospinal fluid leak (doesn't affect surgical outcome)
  8. Spinal instability, requiring additional surgery to fuse the spine
  9. Painful and prolonged recovery time
  10. Permanent or temporary muscle weakness
  11. Stiff back with a limited range of motion
  12. Severe arterial bleeding
  13. Bone fragments left in the body
  14. Heart attack
  15. Stroke
  16. Sexual dysfunction
  17. Nerve root injury
  18. Infection of the surgical wound
  19. Spinal cord abscess, requiring antibiotics and additional surgery to treat
  20. Impairment or loss of bladder and/or bowel control (incontinence)
  21. Prolonged numbness, paralysis
treating chronic back pain risks of surgery CTA

Safe, natural treatments work for the vast majority

The fact is, surgery is usually not necessary for herniated or slipped discs. That’s because natural back pain treatments have an excellent record of success. Back specialists have found that natural and non-invasive therapies work for the vast majority of sufferers, including those with herniated discs. In many cases, back pain has been known to disappear practically overnight, for patients who choose non-invasive Functional Disc Rehydration™.

Find out about gentle and safe treatment protocol that can eliminate back pain for good. You owe it to yourself: get a free consultation with a back specialist from the Illinois Back Institute. Contact us today!

pain study functional disc stabilization

Topics: Functional Disc Rehydration, herniated disc, Natural Treatment, Surgery Risks