Back surgery nerve damage is one of the many possible complications which can be enacted once a patient undergoes any form of invasive back pain treatment. Virtually any therapy modality which actually enters the body can cause nerve damage to a minor or major degree and it is very common for patients to suffer lasting or even permanent injury from any instance of traumatized spinal nerves.
We receive a huge number of letters from readers stating that they were diagnosed with nerve damage after a particular surgical procedure, so we warn the rest of you to bear these risks in mind when deciding if back surgery is right for your needs.
In some cases, the trauma to neurological tissue really exists and can cause the potential for chronic pain. In other patients, nerve damage may simply be an excuse offered to them by surgeons who failed in their attempts to provide a cure and now simply do not want to be bothered by repeated phone calls from disappointed patients. Either way, this is not a good scenario to be in.
Let's look at the frightening possibility of suffering permanent neurological deficits from surgical intervention.
Damage can occur to any neurological tissue in the anatomy due to injury, degeneration or disease. Nerves are incredibly delicate and susceptible to damage from even the most minor trauma. The horrors of back surgery are more than enough to inflict terrible and permanent spinal nerve injury in many unfortunate patients who hoped to be cured by their operation, not disabled by it.
Nerve damage comes in many degrees, ranging from virtually insignificant injury to complete loss of neurological function, sensory perception or autonomic application. Nerves can be damaged in many ways during surgery, including any or all of the following:
Nerves can be severed, partially or wholly.
Nerves can be burnt or frozen beyond repair.
Nerves can be crushed or compressed.
Nerves can be damaged by infection.
Nerves can lose integrity due to prolonged periods of blood oxygen deprivation.
Nerves can suffer from scar tissue, on the structure itself or in close proximity.
Nerves can be damaged by almost any invasive procedure, including epidural injection therapies. In fact, many back pain injection treatments have the very real possibility of inflicting serious injury to sensitive nerve fibers, since they are often administered directly into the nerve tissues.
Minimally invasive and fully open surgical techniques have an even greater risk for causing nerve injury, particularly when the procedure is close to the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots. This basically describes almost any and every back surgery procedure. Spinal cord injury is surely one of the worst possible results of invasive surgical intervention.
Nerve damage may resolve completely in some cases or may only improve to a variable degree with time and rehabilitation. In many cases, nerve damage may become permanent and doom the patient to some degree of dysfunction for life, ranging from mild inconvenience to complete paralysis to premature death.
Remember that nerve injury is just one of the many, many risks of back surgery to think about carefully before agreeing to undergo any operative event. We can not even begin to tell you how many patients went to their doctor for a simple epidural injection and came home permanently injured.
Be careful and never acquiesce to any treatment without knowing the whole story, including all possible complications which can and do occur. It is a sad situation indeed when a patient has to worry so much about the care they receive. However, not learning all the facts can cost you your health, your future or your life. Do not fall into this trap.
Be sure to discuss all the risks of every treatment with your doctor and then decide if you are willing to try the therapy on for size. Hopefully if you do decide to go with a surgical intervention, you may be one of the minority who beat the statistical odds and will at least enjoy a cure for your own back pain.