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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

The Common Risks Associated with Bulging Disc Surgery

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

risks of back surgeryBulging disc surgery, like any other surgical procedure, carries risk. If you’re living with back pain from a bulging disc and considering back surgery, or if someone you love is, you’re well-advised to research the many risks. Before taking a drastic (and often unnecessary) step like surgery, read this outline of back surgery risks--and consider non-invasive and proven-effective back pain treatment alternatives.

Common surgical risks associated with back surgery

Risks include but aren’t limited to:
These potential complications and risks are listed right on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons official website.

  • Recurrence of disc herniation: After surgery, the back problem may recur.
  • Urination difficulty
  • Deficient intestinal function
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots: May occur in legs and could travel to lungs. Recovering patients must watch for tenderness, redness and/or calf swelling and seek emergency care immediately.
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Pain
  • Prolonged recovery time 
  • Bleeding: As back surgeons have stated, they must navigate around major blood vessels in order to perform many spinal surgeries--and a mistake could be deadly for the patient. Prior to back surgery, patients may be given the opportunity to donate their own blood, to be used to save their life in case of excessive bleeding.
  • Infections: May occur in the surgical wound/skin incision (a "superficial" infection) or spread deeper to areas surrounding the vertebrae and spinal cord. Patients may be given an antibiotic prior to surgery, especially if bone grafts or metal plates are to be placed during surgery. Antibiotics help reduce the risk of infection. If patient notices signs of infection, fever and/or chills, they must get emergency care immediately. 

As the New York Times spinal surgery health guide astutely adds, additional risks include:

  • Paralysis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of bowel control

The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that fusion surgery (specifically) may lead to:

  • Back stiffening
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Adjacent spinal segment degeneration: Also called transitional syndrome, this is where the healthy spinal segment (next to the surgery area) experiences wear-and-tear damage and pain, due to extra stress.
  • Hardware failure, fracture or implant migration (requiring additional surgery)
  • Sexual dysfunction from nerve damage

Avoid surgical risks by choosing safe, natural back pain treatment

You can avoid non-emergency back surgery by exploring all other options for treatment, including proven-effective, natural Functional Disc Rehydration™. The treatment has vastly improved the quality of life for people who’ve had unsuccessful surgery or tried ineffective drug therapies. Functional Disc Rehydration™ has restored full function and a pain-free life to thousands of patients--who often come to us after years of suffering.

The revolutionary treatment was developed by the founder of the Illinois Back Institute. We offer this and other natural therapies to restore your back health at our convenient locations. Sign up or call for a free consultation with a back specialist, today.

pain study functional disc stabilization

Topics: back surgery, Bulging Discs, Surgery Risks, Risks