If you’re concerned about the risks of back surgery, I’m guessing that you’re considering surgery for a lower back pain or sciatica. Or perhaps you’re doing some research for a loved one or friend. Whatever your reasons, let’s start by saying there’s a time and place for most things. And there’s a time and place for surgery. As an Edinburgh osteopath for the last 25+ years, I’ve seen many people in your situation. Here’s a little breakdown of the risks you are taking. I’ve taken all of the information below from a review by Proietti, Luca et al., 2013. It’s entitled “Complications in lumbar spine surgery: A retrospective analysis“.
The risks of back surgery for disc problems
A review of 133 people having lumbar microdiscectomies (Proietti, Luca et al., 2013) showed that only 6 people had “complications”. Complications means things going wrong. The table below is taken straight from that study.
- Transitory neurological radicular deficit may mean weakness or numbness in part of the leg.
- Deep venous thrombosis is a blood clot. This is a risk of many surgeries.
- Durotomy is where the membrane around the spinal cord is punctured.
- Ileus is a blockage in part of the intestinal tract.