Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Spine Surgery?
Spine surgery is a common name used to describe the surgeries associated with the bony spinal column. These are commonly fusion of vertebrae surgeries.
How much does Spine Surgery cost?
Following factors may affect the cost of Spine Surgery in Bangalore and they are:
- Post-procedure complications that are involved
- Doctor fee
- Type of implants used
- The medical condition of the patient
- Admission fee
- Type of surgery
- The room that you opted for
Minimum Price for Spine in Bangalore starts from Rs.50,000
Average cost for Spine Surgery in Bangalore is approximately Rs.1,13,000
Maximum charges for Spine surgery in Bangalore rises to Rs.2,00,000
What is the right specialist's type for Spine Surgery?
The surgery may be done by an Orthopedic surgeon or a Neurosurgeon.
Is Spine Surgery safe?
With minimally invasive techniques available, spine surgeries are much safer now. However, the safety of the surgery will depend on the extent of the disease and also on the procedure needed.
What is spinal fusion surgery?
As the name suggests, it is joining of the spinal column or vertebras at single or multiple levels.
How long does spine surgery take?
This depends on a patient basis as per the diagnosis. On average, the surgery may last from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours.
What are the risks of Spine Surgery?
- Failure of fusion
- Bleeding at the incision site
- Anaesthesia risks
- Dural tear
- Infection and blood clots
At what age should Spine Surgery be done?
There is no recommended age for the procedure and depends on the need for the recovery. However, it is avoided in old age patients.
What is lumbar spine surgery?
It is a spinal fusion or surgical intervention at the lower back of the spinal column.
Is laser spine surgery covered by insurance?
It completely depends upon your type of insurance and the company you choose.
What is Spine Surgery recovery time?
A patient is typically made to ambulate within 48 hours of a fusion or discectomy procedure.
Is Spine Surgery covered by insurance?
It completely depends upon your type of insurance and the company you choose.
What is endoscopic spine surgery?
It is the usage of tiny flexible tubes to intervene and correct the spinal defects, through small incisions.
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Spine Surgery Overview
Spine Surgery is a broad term to describe all the surgical interventions associated with the bony spinal column. The spinal column is made of multiple bones known as vertebras. These vertebras are shaped so that there is a hole in the center. Two vertebras are further joined by intervertebral discs. This forms a tunnel-like structure, through which the bundle of spinal nerves flows. Any deformity in the spine or the discs, cause pressure on nerves and result in pain. This, when exaggerated, will need surgical intervention for correction. Spine surgery may include, dissecting, complete removal, the fusion of vertebras and the intervertebral discs.
Spine Surgery Indications
Spine surgeries are avoided until absolutely necessary. Physiotherapy and lifestyle changes are advised prior to consideration of any invasive method.
Following are a few indications, where your surgeon might suggest a surgery:
- Mechanical lower back pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative spondylosis
- thesisIsthmic spondylolisthesis
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal tumors
- Nondysraphic tethered cord
- Conus syndrome
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Iatrogenic cascade
- Transitional vertebra
- Annular tear
Eligibility criteria for Spine Surgery
There are multiple reasons for you to be prescribed a spine surgery. It is possible that the two patients with the same diagnosis may have a different treatment approach.
The following may be considered while the patient is considered for spine surgery:
- Age of the patient: Younger the patient, better is the prognosis
- Medical condition: It is understood that better is condition of other organs, safer is the surgery.
- Diagnosis: The extent and severity of the deformity of spine or the disease, is the foremost reason for taking the decision for performing surgery.
- Failure of alternative treatments: Spine surgery is the least preferred by surgeons, unless absolutely inevitable. You might be prescribed physiotherapy , pain medications, lifestyle changes, ergonomic correction and other modalities; before you are taken up for surgical intervention.
Severity of symptoms:
More severe the symptoms and the more they hinder in patient’s daily activities; earlier the surgery is advised.
Following are the few symptoms noted:
- Tingling sensation in limbs
- Damage to spinal nerves
- Deformed or damaged posture
- Herniated disc
Ineligibility criteria for Spine Surgery
Despite the eligibility criteria, there are few indications that contraindicate surgical intervention. These are enumerated as follows:
- Age: Surgical intervention is avoided in elderly patients
- Anaesthetic complications: already diagnosed medical conditions that inform of contraindication to spinal anaesthesia
- Allergy to anaesthetic drugs
- Refusal of the patient for a surgical intervention
- Cancer and chemotherapy
- Risk of spinal nerve involvement
- Risk of paralysis
- Infection and fever
- Intermediate neurological disease
- Metabolic imbalances
- Diagnosed coagulopathies
Right specialists type for Spine Surgery
Spine surgeries are done by an Orthopaedic surgeon or by a Neurosurgeon as well. Post the surgery, the patient will also need the involvement of a physiotherapist.
Preparation for Spine Surgery
Spinal surgeries are of various types, depending upon the condition diagnosed. However, pre-operative preparations are similar. It is advised that patients speak with the treating surgeon before deciding on the procedure about the following:
- Need and urgency of the surgery
- Alternatives available for the surgery
- Surgical steps and the correction of the deformity
- The outcome of the surgery
- Post-operative lifestyle changes and care
- Cost-effectiveness of the procedure: Research and compare the packages around the hospitals, along with available facilities and experience of the treating surgeon
- Risk and complications of the surgery
- Understand the pathophysiology of your disease and look for alternatives
- Inform all the comorbidities and allergies to your treating surgeon to help him plan the treatment chart in advance
- Required investigations need to be done in time as advised by anaesthetist and treating doctor.
- A brief from physiotherapist prior to the intervention is to be done.
- Patient is advised to get admitted a day prior to the surgery to complete medical investigations.
- Patient is advised to stay ‘nil per oral’ i.e. to avoid drinking or eating few hours prior to the surgery.
Steps of Spine Surgery
Steps depend on the diagnosis and type of technique to be done.
Following are the few spinal surgeries that can be performed:
- Spinal or Vertebral fusion
- Discectomy or Microdiscectomy
- Laminectomy or Laminotomy
- Disc replacement
For spinal fusion surgery- cervical or lumbar- the surgeon can use any of the following approaches:
- Anterior approach- an incision is made through the lower abdomen.
- Posterior approach- the targeted area is reached from the back.
For a discectomy procedure- posterior approach is taken and incisions are made at the back. The procedure goals are met through a more advanced technique using laparoscopes, and the surgery has been renamed as Microdiscectomy.
For laminectomy, the surgeon makes an incision at back and separates the muscles. The target area is reached and lamina is removed. It is usually done as a part of discectomy or decompression surgery. It is usually done under general anaesthesia.
Post-procedure care/ recovery after Spine Surgery
Post-surgery phase of recovery can be divided into two:
Post-surgery in hospital care:
Post-procedure, patient is transferred to recovery room. Following are taken care in post-operative room by medical team:
- Complications of anaesthesia
- Recovery of movements of upper and lower limbs
- Patient is to lie flat on spine minimum 24 hours
- Pain killers or analgesia is prescribed round the clock for the first few days
- Ambulation and physiotherapy is started after 24 hours
- After 2-3 days, patient is discharged
Post-discharge care at home:
- Avoid lifting heavy weights and bending down for at least 4-6 months
- Regular physiotherapy is advised
- Take regular pain killers and antibiotics as advised
- Be vigilant for numbness, weakness in limbs
- Avoid trauma at the surgical site
- Consult the treating surgeon in case of fever, pain, swelling at the surgical site
Risks/complications associated with Spine Surgery
Spinal surgery (depending upon the procedures done) is otherwise a safe procedure, but can have the following complications:
- Bleeding from the incision site
- Fever and Sepsis
- Recurrence of symptoms
- Blood clots
- Nerve injury
Advantages of Spine Surgery
Spine surgeries, nowadays, have become less invasive and offer a different perspective of recovery as compared to open approaches.
Following are few advantages of minimal invasive approach:
- Early recovery
- Less painful
- Less blood loss
- Early ambulation of the patient
- Short hospital stay
- Small scars
- Cosmetically acceptable
- Less risk of infections
- Less damage to soft tissue and muscles
Long term outcome/results of Spine Surgery
Minimal Invasive techniques or Laparoscopic approach has made an early recovery with fewer complications. The long term results have been considered as successful.
The following changes has been noticed after spinal surgery:
- Sudden improvement in symptoms like sciatica pain
- Retrieval of daily activities
- With proper post-operative care, patients are able to return to daily activities sooner
- Minimal invasive approaches have been seen as extremely useful in discectomy and fusion surgeries.
Success rate of Spine Surgery
Spine surgeries are extremely successful. However, it has been considered that the success of the spinal intervention majorly depends on post-operative care.
Options if Spine Surgery is not successful
Success rate of spine surgeries is very high, depending on the type of surgery needed and also the surgeon. However, there is no 100% guarantee for complete success of the surgery and complications may happen.
In cases of a failed surgery, following can be sorted:
- Look for the cause of failure: Major flaw is a neglected post - operative care at home. It is seen that patient usually lift heavy weights and get injured.
- Check for severity of symptoms: It is advisable to note down the extent of symptoms on a scale of 1 to 10. It is possible that the expectations of the patients may vary from actual results.
- Consider re-intervention if needed: The surgery can be re-done if needed.
- Try for non - invasive methods: An extensive physiotherapy, changed ergonomics and modified lifestyle can help in decreasing the chances of failure of the surgery.
- Look for complications and treat appropriately.
Alternatives to Spine Surgery
Spinal surgeries, however minimal approach, are still an invasive approach to treat a condition. Patients have reportedly benefitted and responded to non - invasive treatments as well.
Some of them are listed below:
- Non – Invasive spinal decompression
- Regular exercise or yoga
- Back strengthening exercises
- Medical treatments like taking analgesics
- Annuloplasty or Intradiscal electrothermal coagulation procedure
- Spinal manipulations
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