Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: So you think you need . . . Surgery for a slipped disc 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 16, Issue 6)

What doctors don’t tell you
Taken as a whole, PLID surgery has a poor track record. The most recent review of the clinical data has shown that about half the standard operations need to repeated, as are a staggering 80 per cent of keyhole surgeries (J Gen Intern Med, 1993; 8: 487-96).

When discussing your surgical options, orthopaedic surgeons rarely tell you that:

* your back is likely to heal all by itself. Surgical intervention should not be a knee-jerk response, as spontaneous remissions are seen in more than 60 per cent of cases (Schmerz, 2001; 15: 484-91).

* with an open discectomy: - it won’t make you feel any better and, indeed, could make you feel even worse (as experienced by at least 4 per cent of patients) (Eur Spine J, 2005; 14: 49-54) - your back pain is likely to persist. About 75 per cent of patients have residual lower-back pain, 12 per cent of which is described as ‘severe’ (Spine, 2001; 26: 652-7) - you risk inadvertent damage to the surrounding nerves.

* with fusion: - you’re likely to suffer surgical complications. ‘Iatrogenic soft-tissue morbidity’, as it is known, is an almost routine hazard (Orthopedics, 2002; 25: 767-71) - common complications include excessive bleeding, nerve root lesions and recurrent disc herniation - the problem you had in the first place (Eur Spine J, 2003; 12: 239-46) - the surgeon could damage your internal organs. Perforations of intra-abdominal structures have been reported (Neurocirug [Astur], 2004; 15: 279-84) as well as rupture of large blood vessels (Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, 2002; 24: 189-95) - it may actually make the pain of PLID worse because of scarring or damage to the meninges. Henry La Rocca, clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery at Tulane University in New Orleans, points to “substantial” evidence that iatrogenic scarring of the nerve roots causes long-term pain, and that iatrogenic damage to the membranes covering the spinal cord can be “catastrophic” (Weinstein J, Wiesel S, eds. The Lumbar Spine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1990).

In addition, spinal fusion has the highest failure rates. One reason may be that the operation puts an extra load on other parts of the spine. By locking the movement in one vertebral joint, fusion forces the adjacent joints to do 50 per cent more work than they were designed to do. This can lead to later PLIDs - as one osteopath puts it, “You simply chase the problem up the spine”.

Fusion brings other long-term medical problems such as osteoarthritis, probably due to friction between the unbuffered vertebrae. The patient is also left with a weaker spine and so a reduced quality of life.

Nevertheless, there are occasions when surgery is necessary to prevent paralysis. The tell-tale symptoms are specific - either faecal incontinence or an inability to pass urine. Both are caused by the prolapsed disc pressing on the nerves that control the bladder and/or the bowel, and indicate a potentially hazardous condition requiring emergency surgery. Secondary symptoms may be back pain or numbness in the pelvic area.

Medical alternatives to surgery
Chemonucleolysis using papaya enzymes is more effective than surgery in the long term, but may also have occasionally severe adverse consequences - in particular, a fatal allergic reaction. It can also cause severe back pain for up to three months after the procedure (Spine, 1996; 21: 1102-5). As a result, it’s now falling out of favour, especially in the US.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Finding Meaning, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar