Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable: Here’s How…

Drs. Jeff Langmaid and Jason Deitch

Founder DCs, The Smart Chiropractor

The Value of Managing Spinal Health with Chiropractic Care

Most spine surgeries (elective) are preventable with proper care and treatment.

Chiropractors play a vital role in preventing these surgeries by providing patients with the necessary care and treatment to keep their spines healthy.

What Chiropractic Patients Need to Know About Spine Surgeries

Here’s how you can help prevent spine surgery for your patients.

Yes, Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable

Spine surgery is often unnecessary and can be prevented with other measures.

Know This

Surgery should never be a first resort for healing the spine.

When it comes to your spine, you should always think twice before opting for surgery.

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Spine surgeries are serious procedures with various associated risks, making them a last resort when treating spine pain. 

Unnecessary spine surgeries can be costly and provide little to no benefit – in some cases resulting in even more pain and discomfort.

With the proper guidance from healthcare professionals, many spinal issues can be avoided through preventive measures like exercise and lifestyle changes – so make sure to explore all your options before jumping straight into surgery!

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Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable: Know Your Options

Yes, There are Significant Risks to Consider

The risks associated with spine surgery are significant.

Those we know of that often come with elective spine surgery are no joke, and those considering the procedure should be fully aware.

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The complication rate of elective spine surgeries is not insignificant, ranging from infection to potential paralysis or more serious complications in rare cases.

Many people are shocked to discover both that most spine surgeries are preventable and that up to 20% of spine surgeries have complications.

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While infection and complications are possible with any medical procedure, they are especially concerning regarding the spine.

Knowing the risks ahead of time is essential for anyone considering this major surgery to decide what is best for them.

In a world-renowned orthopedic group, I once had a Johns Hopkins-trained neurosurgeon tell me, “About 30 percent of patients see improvement, about 30 percent stay the same, and about 30 percent get worse”.

Considering this was one of the best surgeons I’ve met, these odds are stunning!

Yes, There are Many Effective Alternative Therapies

Many alternatives to spine surgery can be just as effective.

Spine surgery carries significant risks, so it is not always the optimal decision.

Thankfully, individuals have great non-invasive alternatives to explore before opting for elective spine surgery.

Many procedures and treatments offer the same or similar relief as spinal surgery without falling under the knife.

A Mature Woman Returns for Her Second Visit with Her Chiropractor After Learning That Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable and Chiropractic Care Can Help
Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable: Alternative Therapies

Chiropractic care, physical therapy, or even medical massage can provide a gentler approach when dealing with spine-related issues.

Acupuncture, herbal remedies, and other holistic healing approaches are available to combat issues associated with the back, ribs, and neck.

There’s no need to rush into surgery when proven effective alternatives exist – so be sure to research them first!

Know This

A few years back, a research study was published highlighting the long-term results of people who used chiropractic care or a discectomy for a herniated disc in their lumbar spine.

After five years, the results of chiropractic care were equal to, or slightly better than, having surgery and without any of the risks, complications, and permanent changes to the anatomy of the spine.

Additionally, those who didn’t receive benefits from chiropractic care had great results with surgery.

That means almost no one should undergo elective spine surgery without working through a complete chiropractic care plan!

Yes, In Some Cases it May be Necessary

While it is true that most spine surgeries are preventable, there may be rare cases where intervention is required.

If you need spine surgery, do your research and choose a reputable surgeon.

Deciding to have spine surgery can be daunting, especially considering its risks and dangers.

It’s essential to take your time and research when selecting a surgeon for elective spine surgery.

Make sure you find an experienced spine surgeon who is board certified and has the proper credentials.

Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from friends or online support groups; this could prove helpful in helping to select the best doctor for your needs.

A Fit, Mature Man Smiles While Reading a Message in a Support Forum for Spinal Surgery Patients After Learning That Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable
Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable: Research and Support

Before committing to any surgery, discuss all options thoroughly with your doctor and carefully weigh the importance against risks – this will help you make an informed decision on whether spine surgery is right for you.

Try to avoid surgeons who are cowboys.

I’ve worked with a few cowboys, and while their grit and forward-thinking are great, the chances they take often result in worse outcomes and more aggressive procedures.

I would look for a “boring” surgeon who does the same surgery every day, every day, rather than someone who is moonlighting or trying to work on their latest and greatest technique. 

Yes, Recovery Can Be Challenging

Recovery from spine surgery can be long and difficult, so make sure you’re prepared for it mentally and physically.

Spine surgery has its risks and benefits, but what about recovery?

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The truth is that recuperating from elective spine surgery can take days to months, depending on the patient and procedure.

To ensure you experience a successful recovery, it’s important to prepare mentally and physically.

Research ahead of time what to expect, stock your home with healthy food, engage in gentle physical activities such as walking or mild yoga, and look into pain-management techniques.

A Mature Woman Sets Out on a Mild Walk Following a Necessary Spine Surgery After Her Chiropractor Educated Her on Why Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable and How Chiropractic Care Can Help Improve Spinal Health Even After Surgery
Most Spine Surgeries are Preventable: Preparation and Recovery

Of course, following the post-op instructions of your healthcare team is essential for a speedy recovery.

Preparing for the road to healing will save you a great deal of stress and discomfort down the line—and make sure you’re getting all the help you need during this process.

The Bottom Line: Spinal Surgeries Should Be the Last Resort

There is no such thing as surgery permanently “fixing” a spinal issue.

Even minimally invasive spine surgery is still surgery!

Understanding that all surgery involves cutting off the muscles and ligament, along with permanent alterations to your anatomy, is critical.

That is one of the many reasons it’s always wise to avoid surgery if possible. 

Know This

Remember, most spine surgeries are preventable and spine surgery is risky and should only be considered a last resort.

Many alternatives to spine surgery can be just as effective, so do your research and explore your options before making a decision.

If you need spine surgery, choose a reputable surgeon and ensure you’re prepared for the long and difficult recovery process.

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