No Need to Panic About Spinal Surgery
A message from Dr. Seth Neubardt
I always tell patients that if they are not scared about the idea of spinal surgery then they need to see a psychiatrist!
The idea of spinal surgery can be frightful so it’s completely normal to be anxious. Because the spine is a critical area, the idea of becoming paralyzed might even be lurking in the back of a patient’s mind.
The good news is that we are extremely experienced. Since all we do is spinal surgery, every procedure is done in a calm and expeditious manner. Our results are excellent.
Are there complications? Absolutely, and it’s important to look at some of the common complications associated with your surgery. But be aware that there is much false information that surrounds the concept of spinal surgery. We have a special page on this web site dedicated to risks and encourage you to spend time reviewing it. Learn more about risks, benefits and alternatives. You will see that most of the problems are minor and manageable. One of the best ways to allay your fears is to take a hard look at the statistics for the complications you fear most and find out how often they actually occur. You may be surprised to learn that some of the most feared complications hardly ever occur. For instance, in the 16 years that Dr. Stern and I have been working together we have never had a patient get paralyzed or die during one of our surgeries.
Most importantly, you need to recognize that the spinal surgery is being done to help you. Not having surgery and living in pain is not a good long-term option. For our typical patient, back or neck pain can be depressing. We see how it changes people’s personalities while also destroying the home environment. Pain creates stress between husband, wife and kids. The person in pain doesn’t sleep well, is grouchy and short tempered. Inactivity leads to gaining weight. The patient is “out of it” and constipated from pain pills. To make things worse, none of the treatments seem to give lasting relief and employers keep calling with questions about return to work. It’s miserable! So keep things in perspective and always weigh the fearful aspects of spinal surgery against the current reality of your life in pain.
We cannot promise that we will cure each and every patient, but we can promise that we will be there for you and participate in your healing with 100% commitment.