Mr. Sharma had been an active person all throughout his life. But from his 65th birthday, he started having difficulty in walking. He would easily get tired and his legs would feel heavy. Tingling and numbness, with leg pain had made his active lifestyle a thing of the past. Gradually he became afraid of walking. It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to carry out his daily chores. The thought of being dependent on others, finally made him visit a doctor. He underwent a few tests and MRI of the spine. He was diagnosed with Lumbar canal stenosis, a condition which causes abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal carrying the nerve roots to the legs.
He underwent a minimally invasive surgery for the spinal stenosis. After surgery his world had changed. Next day he could walk and could again feel the nimbleness in his feet. He had no pain and he again started hoping of travels, he had long wanted to do. The incision was hardly noticeable. Three months after the surgery, he regrets only one thing. Why did he go to a doctor so late? Perhaps, he was afraid of the surgery. He had heard of so many patients not recovering from back surgery, having persistent pain or being bedridden forever.
Spine surgery underwent massive developments over the last decades. The results of surgery have improved drastically. Still, there is a lot of fear of spine surgery. This is mostly because of lack of awareness about spinal conditions and their treatment. Some pain can have simple answers like physiotherapy and slight modifications in lifestyle. Only very few of back pain patients require surgery, perhaps less than 1%. With the advances in spine surgery, especially minimally invasive or keyhole spine surgeries, the mental and physical trauma during recovery phase has also reduced drastically. Despite all these facts, there is so much of apprehension surrounding spine surgery. Many patients do not even visit a doctor because of such ill found fears. This needs to be addressed through media campaigns.
So, if you have been ignoring a back problem for a long time, it is better to visit an expert. Imagine a life free of pain, and stop suffering. Don’t worry even if you have to undergo a procedure also, and believe in your doctor. Very few patients have recurring problems after back surgery, and high chance are you may not fall in that category.