Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1 - Is spine surgery risky?
Ans - Overall, walking on Indian roads is more risky than undergoing spine surgery. Spine surgery was risky a few decades ago. Now we have operating microscopes that give us incredible magnification, we have small diameter endoscopes that prevent damage to spine muscles and we have neuro-monitoring that protects the nerves. Overall spine surgery is quite safe.
Q 2 - How soon can I walk after spine surgery?
Ans - Most patients walk on the first day after surgery. Patients of endoscopy walk within a few hours of the procedure.
Q 3 - How much is the cost of spine surgery?
Ans - This depends on mainly two factors. One, which type of hospital room you choose and what type of implant ie the rods, screws, cages etc (if needed) is used for the surgery. In general the expenditure would be about 50 times less than what is spent on an average Indian wedding.
Q 4 - I have backpain. Do I need spine surgery?
Ans - More than 95% patients of back pain do not need surgery. But it is essential to know whether you belong to those 95%. For this you need to get examined by a spine specialist and if needed you may be told to get some investigations done. The same is true of patients who have neck pain or arm pain or leg pain or those who have disc problems.
Q 5 - If I delay treatment what will happen?
Ans - There is a small but definite chance of getting paralysis if your nerves are getting compressed and you do not get treated in time. More importantly, there is an even higher chance of damaging your nerves such that there is constant pain which is not be curable by any means. This is called neuropathic pain.
Q 6 - How long can I wait before spine surgery?
Ans - If you have been advised surgery, the earlier you get operated, the better the result will be. With every passing day the chance of developing problems ,mentioned in Question 5, increases. If you delay too long, a time may come when even after a good surgery you may not get any benefit.
Q 7 - How many days do I need to remain admitted in the hospital?
Ans - Usually about 3 to 5 days. Some endoscopy patients are discharged in a few hours of the procedure.
Q 8 - I have diabetes (or heart disease, or thyroid problem, or high BP, or some other medical problem). Can I undergo surgery?
Ans - Nowadays with advanced medical care, most patients with such problems can safely undergo surgery.
Q 9 - After surgery will I be able to do all activities?
Ans - Yes. You will walk from day one. You will start most activities from 1 month of surgery and from 3 months onwards most patient are able to lift heavy weights, walk for a few kilometres and travel as much as they like.
Q 10 - Will I need medicines after surgery?
Ans - Most patients do not need medicines beyond a couple of weeks after surgery. You may be given Vitamins and supplements for a prolonged period for better recovery.
Q 11 - What is the usual order of events before and after surgery?
Ans - First you need to confirm your date of admission with your doctor. On the day of admission, all investigations are done and patients’ fitness for surgery is confirmed. Usually the next day the procedure is performed. The time taken for the procedure is usually short but the patient is in operation theatre for a longer time because of detailed checking of the patient and his/her documents. The patient is made to sit with support immediately after the procedure and after some time is allowed to drink liquids and eat soft food. The next day (or in some cases the same day) the patient is made to walk. The following day usually the patient is discharged from the hospital. What activities the patient can do and cannot do at home will be informed at the time of discharge.