Whenever there is a surgery, there are bound to be some potential complications. It's the skill of the surgeon that can help you avoid these complications. However, it is important that we know and understand all the complications that could have been involved in spinal surgery.
These complications may include pain, injury and additional surgery too. Here are some of the most common complications that are encountered:
All surgical procedures require some kind of anesthesia. It could be local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The simplest one is local anesthesia which made by injecting medication at the place of surgery and the most complicated one is general anesthesia which puts you completely to sleep. The most common problems seen are the reactions to the drugs and medicines that are injected.
These are blood clots that form inside the veins of the legs. These blood clots fill the veins and obstructive the normal flow of the blood. These blood clots are dangerous and can break free and travel to other parts like the tiny vessels of the lungs etc and cut off the blood flow completely. That's why this is considered as a very serious complication.
Medication is used after spine surgery to slow down the blood clotting and pulsatile stockings are used after surgery. You also need to exercise and get out of bed as soon as possible in order to slow down the blood clotting mechanism.
Taking care of your lungs is an important part of the surgery. There should be enough oxygen for the tissues to heal. Deep breathing and coughing exercises will be recommended by the doctor. Some medications also may be recommended.
Infections are the most common after effects of any kind of surgery. But for spinal surgery, it's found to be less than 1%. Some infections are at the surface where the incision is, and some could be deep. If you notice some kind of swelling or infection, contact your doctor immediately.
During surgery, metal screws, plates or rods could be used. These are called as hardware. Once the bone heals, these rods that are inserted do not serve much purpose. But sometimes, even before the bones heal, these rods break or move from their position. This is called as hardware fraction and is one of the risks involved in spinal surgery.
When the implant moved from the place where the surgeon had placed it, it's called implant migration. There is a risk that this implant may damage other parts of the spine due to this misplacement. A second operation may be required to rectify this.
There is a possibility that the spinal cord is injured during surgery. Nerves or the spinal cord covering may be damaged. This can also cause paralysis.
When a surgery is unsuccessful or not as skillfully done as it should, the patient sufferers consistent and persistent pain.
Transitional syndrome and pseudoarthosis are some of the other effects of spinal surgery.