Conquering the Fear of Back Surgery

You’ve already been to a physical therapist, chiropractor, or pain management practice. And you’ve tried epidural and steroid shots to ease your chronic back pain. After finding no long-term relief, is back surgery worth it? Spinal surgery can result in life altering differences improving your quality of life, but fear and common myths make too many patients unsure about surgery. New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C., takes a closer look to dispel the myths and fears associated with these procedures.

Myth: Every type of back operation qualifies as a major surgical procedure.

While it is true that some conditions require major operations, Dr. Sandro LaRocca of New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C., performs many minimally invasive back surgeries. With only a few small incisions, we treat a wide variety of conditions, including:

Myth: The risks outweigh the benefits of back surgery.

Not necessarily. Though any surgical procedure carries potential risks and side effects, complications from back surgery are typically rare and/or minimal. Plus, restoring one’s quality of life through back surgery proves to be a wise decision for many patients. From restoration of neurologic function, improved mobility and increased productivity to reduced reliance on pain medications, back surgery is often the right solution – especially when all other attempts to find relief have failed. You should consult with your doctor about the risks you may face to determine if back surgery is the right option for you.

Myth: The road to recovery takes too long and is far too painful.

This is not true. It’s expected that you’ll feel some degree of pain or soreness following your procedure, but that usually begins to subside in the first few days after surgery. Depending on how major or invasive the back surgery was, some patients experience mild to moderate soreness or pain for up to six weeks. With that being said, the road to recovery is different for everyone and depends on several factors, like the type of surgery you had, your age, and your physical fitness before surgery. More importantly, the overall reduction in long-term pain is worth temporary soreness in a majority of cases.

Myth: A lot of people need additional back surgeries in the future, so it must not work.

The majority of patients undergoing back surgery experience satisfactory results and won’t have to undergo additional procedures. For instance, up to 90 percent of people who receive surgery for chronic back pain are successful. However, every procedure’s success and the need for further surgeries depend on the severity of the individual’s condition. If an initial operation cannot completely resolve a problem or if a new, unrelated condition arises, surgery may be needed again.

Learn More Today

Hopefully this helps you make the decision about dealing with your spinal condition. Make an appointment with Dr. LaRocca at New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. today. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations in New Jersey – Lawrenceville, Toms River, or Mount Laurel.