Patients who suffer from degenerative disc disease, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, or fractures may benefit from surgery if other treatments fail to improve their symptoms. With surgery, most patients see an improvement in their pain, flexibility, and ability to function daily.
However, surgery is a big step. So, we asked Dr. Bonaventure Ngu, our expert at Premier Spine Institute, to explain what spine surgery entails, when it’s used, and what the recovery process looks like.
Dr. Ngu offers laser surgery for the spine. Although lasers can’t be used for all types of back issues, Dr. Ngu prefers laser surgery for those conditions that qualify because they allow for smaller incisions. As a result, the scars are smaller, and the risk for bleeding and infection is reduced.
Dr. Ngu may recommend spine surgery for the following reasons:
Depending on the type of surgery you opt for, you may need three to six months to return to work if you have a desk job, or 9-12 weeks if you have a physically demanding job.
Within 24 hours after your surgery, we may enroll you in a physical therapy program. During your hospital stay, you learn exercises that strengthen your muscles and spine.
Staying active and eating well after your surgery is a must, as gaining weight and losing muscle mass due to inactivity may delay healing and worsen surgery outcomes.
Good candidates for spine surgery are those who don’t respond to conservative methods and have symptoms that interfere with their sleep or their ability to keep a job, such as severe pain and stiffness.
Smokers and diabetics aren’t the best candidates for spine surgery, as they’re at higher risk for developing complications and experiencing slower healing. However, under the right guidance, even patients who smoke or have blood sugar control issues can benefit from spine surgery.
If you have symptoms that reduce your quality of life, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Ngu examines your spine and lets you know whether you can benefit from spine surgery.