Well, coming to talk about it… it is definitely far less dangerous than driving or walking on our roads..nowadays driving on our roads too needs surgical precision.. lol, but jokes apart, this article is mainly meant to assuage the fears about spine surgery.

For long in our country, where awareness about medicine is a rare commodity,it has been thought that spine surgery will lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia as the case might be and hence shunned by the patients.I have seen and heard even general practitioners saying that to their patients.

We must understand that like any other surgery it can have its own complications, but it alone has not been understood, because the complication can be devastating, that said, a properly done surgery for the correct indication can produce great pain relief and change the life of patients.

Its like flying … we all perfectly understand that flying in a plane is inherently dangerous to life . but we still fly .. isnt it? that’s because the danger probability is very negligible.. in fact flight journey is considered to be the safest method of transportation.. same way even though it has its inherent risks its still one of the safest surgeries done around the world.

A basic knowledge about spine might be helpful here…the bony spine does 2 major jobs
1. To keep us erect and allow movement of the body and
2. To protect the spinal cord.
The second job requires the bony spine to be in proximity with the spinal cord, hence during surgeries inadvertent damage to the spinal cord a possibility.It was a real risk some 20 yrs back, when the spinal instrumentation was in its infancy, but nowadays the options are more safe with microdiscectomy, Endoscopic and MISS. Having been in vogue for some time, these techniques have greatly reduced the possibilities of inadvertent damage to the cord making it one of the safest surgeries nowadays.

So if we are able to fly without any fear and most of the time even enjoy it …. then we should be able to undergo spine surgery too without fear.

Dr.Elangovan.Ms,Mch orth.

Leave a Comment