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In general, any patient would expect that they might return to their normal life following any surgery, which includes spine surgery. Oftentimes, we might have seen patients who do not do as well as expected  or  not recover completely from their symptoms after surgery. Consequently, patients become dissatisfied and the doctor-patient relationship could become discordant.

There might be multiple  reasons behind this.These stem mainly from the misunderstanding the nature of spine problems, and a lack of proper preoperative counselling.

Many times what the patient expects may or may not be closer to reality and hence the need for counselling  during preoperative interview is of paramount importance. 

However, the recovery from spine surgery depends on many things, from the quality of your overall health, severity of the condition, degree of symptoms before surgery to the method of surgery performed to your problem. 

When patients are suffering from back pain and sciatica  due to intervertebral disc related problems, surgeries like decompression, Microdiscectomy and Spinal fusions are recommended. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure done to fuse the discs together with the application of rods and screws.  It make a take a few  months before the patient completely recovers and resumes a normal life. Most of this is based on the already pre existing damage and the chronicity of the symptoms

Many Patients thank to the media driven propaganda are extremely scared of spine surgery and they wait till the point of no return. They firmly believe that the surgery is not going to be beneficial to them. For some emergency reason when they finally had to undergo surgery, they many not do well. As the recovery is not really great they feel that their stand is vindicated and thus being a part of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Implants can cause irritation to the surrounding tissues and may result in pain after surgery. Moreover, scar tissue, which is healing, can also cause pain, and muscles spasm as a result of spinal misalignment can also result in pain. These events are  very rare and affect a very miniscule portion of the patients undergoing spine surgery. 

Being dissatisfied    secondary to the occurrence of a complication is natural . Unfortunately the risk of complication is there is any surgery and hence this small risk has to be accepted before the patient undergoes any procedure in any speciality. That is the reason why the risk vs benefit ratio is discussed with every patient and their attendants before they undergo any procedure.

There are a variety of causes of back problems, and modern medicine is trying to trace out the mystery surrounding many of them. When the treatment involves fixing nerves and after nerve decompression, people generally expect to resolve symptoms like neck pain/back pain, numbing sensation, loss of sensation, limb weakness, loss of control over bladder and bowel that are caused by nerve compression. The recovery process does not happen overnight. Nerves that are damaged take some time to recover their functions.

Recovery after nerve decompression mostly depends on the severity of nerve damage experienced prior to the procedure. In the case of irreversible damage, it is extremely difficult for the patient to recover. Delays in surgery play a significant role in this. However, nerve damage can be reversed in most cases and one can expect a gradual recovery that takes weeks-months, even in severe cases after surgery.

Patient Factors that cause a delay in recovery

You may be able to recover more quickly and more successfully if your general health is good. According to some studies, conditions that might decrease the success of back surgery include:

  • Preexisting depression in the patient
  • Unhealthy psychosocial well-being
  • Smoking and drinking
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • Age of the patient
  • Other underlying health condition

Spine Surgery Factors

It is possible that a patient might not recover if the surgical method used does not address their problem properly. In addition, if any complications or errors occur during the procedure, there is a greater chance of failing the surgery.

Post-Operative Factors

Patients might not recover after back surgery if they experience the following conditions immediately after surgery:

  • Subdural or epidural hematoma
  • Infection of the spinal column
  • The accumulation of fluid around the surgical area in the spine
  • A nerve injury

The efficiency of surgery may be reduced if a patient experiences transition syndrome and might fail to recover from surgery.

As mentioned above, many factors show an impact on your spinal surgery recovery. The method of surgery, the condition being treated, the experience of the surgeon, post-operative recovery plan and many more play a role in the results. If you have had spine surgery and are not able to recover as expected, consult Dr. Surya Prakash, one of the senior-most spine doctors in Hyderabad to find the specific reason. He has more than 25 years of experience in treating a wide range of spinal problems by performing various spine surgeries successfully. He can give you an understanding of the issue and help you to cope up with the situation. If needed a revision surgery may be also be offered based on the condition and situation.


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