What Are The Chances Of Being Paralyzed After Spine Surgery?
At Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics, we understand that spine surgery can be a daunting experience, and it's essential to be aware of the potential risks and complications that may arise. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your spine surgery and to help you understand what steps you can take to reduce your risk of paralysis. So, let's dive in and explore this topic further.
The Chances Are Low, But Not Nonexistent
The likelihood of patients experiencing paralysis after spine surgery is minimal. The precise percentage depends on several factors, including the type of procedure, the underlying condition, and the surgical team's expertise. Generally, the risk of paralysis is considered to be less than 1% for most spine surgeries.
It's worth noting that certain types of spine surgery, such as those involving the cervical spine or thoracic spine, may carry a higher risk of paralysis. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the risk of paralysis after spine surgery is less than 1%, but the risk may be higher for certain types of spine surgery.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Paralysis
Several factors can increase the risk of paralysis after spine surgery, including:
- The location and extent of the surgery: The closer the surgery is to the spinal cord, the higher the risk of paralysis.
- The type of surgery: Some types of spine surgery, such as those that involve the removal of bone or the insertion of hardware, can increase the risk of paralysis.
- The patient's age and overall health: Older patients or those with underlying health conditions may be at a higher risk of complications during and after surgery, including paralysis.
- The surgeon's skill and experience: Surgeons who specialize in spine surgery and have a high level of experience are less likely to make mistakes that could lead to paralysis.
It's important to note that while the risk of paralysis after spine surgery is low, it's still a severe complication that can significantly impact a patient's quality of life. That's why it's important to discuss the risks and benefits of spine surgery with your doctor and choose a surgeon with the necessary experience and expertise to perform the procedure safely.
Reducing the Chances of Being Paralyzed After Spine Surgery
It's crucial to note that surgeons take extensive measures to minimize the risk of paralysis, such as utilizing advanced imaging techniques and careful planning and execution of the surgical procedure. Additionally, advancements in surgical techniques and technology have reduced the likelihood of paralysis.
Although the risk of paralysis after spine surgery is relatively low, there are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of experiencing this complication:
- Choose a skilled and experienced surgeon: The skill and experience of your surgeon play a crucial role in reducing the risk of paralysis. Look for a surgeon specializing in spine surgery with a high level of experience performing the specific procedure you need.
- Follow pre-operative instructions: Your surgeon will provide pre-operative instructions before your surgery. These instructions may include avoiding certain medications or foods, quitting smoking, and engaging in physical therapy. Follow these instructions carefully to reduce your risk of complications.
- Discuss the risks with your surgeon: Before your surgery, have a detailed discussion with your surgeon about the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. Make sure you understand the risks and ask any questions you may have.
- Monitor your recovery: After your surgery, monitor your recovery closely and report any unusual symptoms to your surgeon immediately. Follow your post-operative instructions carefully, including any physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of complications during and after surgery. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Schedule A Consultation
If you're experiencing back or neck pain, seeking a professional diagnosis is crucial. Dr. Rovner, one of the leading spine surgeons in NJ, has the necessary experience and expertise to help patients achieve successful outcomes with orthopedic spine surgery.