Risks of Spinal Decompression Surgery

Decompression surgeries are used to treat painful conditions of the legs and back, which fail to respond to other kinds of non-invasive treatments. To understand spinal decompression surgery, a little knowledge of the structure of the spine is necessary. The spine consists of 24 separate vertebral bones stacked one on top of each other with the presence of cushioning pads called discs present between each vertebra. A hollow cavity also exists in the spine and a delicate bundle of nerve fibers called the spinal cord runs through this. The spinal cord plays a crucial role in relaying messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

Unhealthy modern lifestyles and various pathological conditions can lead to problems in the spine. When nothing else helps, decompression surgery is recommended to treat these conditions which might cause persistent pain, numbness, weakness in limbs or abnormal gait. Decompression spinal surgery is usually recommended for treating slipped discs, spinal injury or relieving pressure caused by growth of spinal tumors.

As with all surgeries, there is a certain element of risk and complication involved with decompression surgeries of the spine too. An infection at the incision site is the commonest complication of decompression surgery and is treated with antibiotics. More serious complications include damage to the spinal cord with possibilities of some degree of paralysis (1 in 300 cases) or death due to unexpected blood clots (1 in 700).

Other risks involved with decompression surgeries include the following:

  • A repeat surgery stands a greater chance of complications than a first surgery
  • Bleeding inside the spinal cord leading to paralysis (extradural spinal hematoma)
  • Incidental Durotomy – leaking of spinal fluid leading to paralysis
  • Damage to the blood vessels supplying the spinal cord with blood, resulting in paralysis
  • Risk of not being able to use legs after surgery with consequent paralysis
  • Loss of sensation in the lower half of the body after surgery, resulting in paralysis
  • Paralysis, resulting in loss of bowel and bladder control

The risks are higher for conditions such as spinal stenosis amongst the elderly, especially those who aren’t in good health either. Slipped disc surgeries have lower risk of complications. But the best way to minimize the risk factors involved in decompression surgeries of the delicate spine is to go with surgeons who are highly experienced and who have access to the latest techniques and technologies. This is also why the Sita Bhateja Specialty hospital in Bangalore stands out as they have a great team of consultants and surgeons who have been repeatedly known to perform outstanding surgeries of the spine. Check here for more details: https://www.sbshospital.com/

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