Q I just had spinal fusion surgery. Now I’m worried something might go wrong during recovery. What are the top risks of spinal fusion surgery and how can I avoid them?
Like any major surgery, spinal fusion surgery comes with a few risks. In spite of these risks, this type of surgery can also change your life for the better. Staying vigilant and aware of what could go wrong is the best way to avoid anything from happening following your surgery.
Common Risks of a Spinal Fusion Surgery
Back surgeries come with inherent challenges during recovery. These go beyond the immediate risks you face when going under anesthesia. Here are some of the most common risks associated with spinal fusion surgeries:
- Infection in the incision
- Infection in the vertebrae bone
- Spinal nerve damage
- Instability in other parts of your spine
- Degeneration of the bone below or above the fused vertebrae
Although these risks can happen and cause you further pain after your surgery, they are not common enough to avoid having a spinal fusion surgery. If you are worried about something going wrong, it is important that you talk to your doctor. Attend all of your regular follow-up appointments and follow all treatment plans.
If something does go wrong, you might qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits until you make a full recovery. While this will not remedy the pain you experience, it might help to know that you have a financial backup plan available.
Before you go into surgery, we encourage you to print this article and take it to your doctor. Talk to him or her about these risks and get detailed instructions about what you can do to be on the lookout for them after your surgery.