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What Are The Treatment Options For Back Pain After Spinal Surgery?
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Spinal surgeries are painful, expensive and have a long recovery process. Fact is that you cannot avoid back pain after the spine surgery. No wonder, then, that there are sufficient follow up options in place as spinal specialists anticipate that most patients would need to use them. Firstly, you must know the most common back surgeries. These include:
• Spinal fusion
• Disc replacement
Though, these are reliable options, none of them can avoid post surgery back pain. There are several other potential complications, which would vary with each case. Apart from some risks that are involved with all surgeries such as blood clotting, bleeding, infection, heart attack, there are certain risks that are associated with spinal surgeries specifically such as:
• Recurrent disc herniation
• Nerve damage
• Spinal cord injury
• Delayed union or no union
• Hardware fracture
• Implant migration
• Transitional syndrome
There are several choices available for treating pain after spine surgery. Spine specialists will recommend that back pain treatment be done with minimal or no side effects after a thorough diagnosis. These methods include:
• Oral pain medication: This is the easiest of pain medication. It includes mild and strong opioids, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), Analgesics, etc.
• Intravenous (IV) Patient Controlled Analgesia – As the effect of anaesthesia during surgery wears down, most hospitals offer this kind of medication, which allows patient to use it as per the comfort, pain tolerance and convenience. This treatment safeguards you against over-using the pain medication, so you can use it freely and comfortably.
• Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia – The pain medication is injected via epidural catheter, which is used in several surgeries. Your doctor may retain the epidural catheter after the surgery for dispensing the pain medication. This system is available in patient controlled system as well.
• Nerve Blocks – It is a targeted pain reliever for a specific area of the body.
• Spinal Anaesthesia – This kind of pain reliever is injected into spinal fluid. It is faster and easier than epidural anaesthesia. However, it doesn’t last long as you cannot use catheter to administer this medicine. But, the doctor can add additional medicine to spinal anaesthesia before the surgery.
In addition to this pain medication, you can also use non-medicinal treatment options, which can be useful. But the usefulness of these techniques would vary with each case. For example: Some patients may find that soothing music would help you relieve post-surgery back pain. But, others may not. The same is applicable to heat and cold therapy and guided relaxation tapes. So, depend on your spine specialist to select most suitable one. But it won’t be an independent choice. Since your response would be the ultimate selection criterion for the right choice.
Keywords:Post surgery back pain,pain after spine surgery
Author Bio :
Dr Garima Anandani (P.T.), CMP, Dip. MDT
Head- Clinical Operations, Qi Spine Clinic
Dr Anandani is the first clinician from India to qualify for the prestigious Diploma in M.D.T. from The McKenzie Institute International and University of Otago. She has acquired specialized training in Spine rehabilitation, from St David's Spine and Sports Therapy, Austin, Texas (USA) and from The Polyclinic, Seattle (USA). She is also one of the few Certified Mulligan Practitioners in India, with over 14 years of clinical experience in handling musculoskeletal disorders.
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