Did you know that many people undergo unnecessary spinal stenosis surgery each year? While the rate of misdiagnosis of spinal stenosis is far lower than many other back pain diagnoses, it is still a real risk for every patient. If the diagnosis is not correct, then any treatment, including and especially surgery which is directed at the condition, is bound to fail.
Are you shocked that so many people undergo operations on their spines each year withut any need? You should not be shocked. This occurrence has long been part of a broken back pain treatment sector which encourages premature and unneeded surgery for most diagnoses.
This discussion focuses on how and why patients undergo surgery for spinal stenosis that is not needed at all. We will provide these facts to help patients to make better informed choices when it comes to their optimal therapeutic path.
Why Would a Person Have Unnecessary Spinal Surgery?
Virtually no one wants to undergo spinal surgery. The path is risky and frightening. There will be pain and a long recovery time, even if all goes perfectly, which it often does not… Complications are commonplace in spinal operations and can have dire consequences. You would think that most people would be incredibly wary about surgery, but the truth is not so simple.
Many, many patients undergo spinal operations without even seeking out a second opinion. They are told to have surgery and they simply acquiesce without question. This kind of “sheepishness” increases the chances of suffering misdiagnosis dramatically. We must make it 100% clear that we implore all patients to seek out a second opinion whenever possible. A third or more opinion is certainly not unreasonable for surgical prescriptions.
If the diagnosis of stenosis turns out to be incorrect or, as the case often is, coincidental to the pain, then surgery is not needed. Even if the operation clears the stenosis successfully, symptoms will not resolve since the pain was not generated by the canal narrowing in the first place. This is why many spinal stenosis surgeries fail.
Unneeded Spinal Stenosis Surgery
Every reader must understand that spinal stenosis is normal to experience as we age. It is expected and virtually universal in the adult population. Stenosis will continue to develop for life, even if it is treated surgically, since it is inherently linked to aging and activity.
While stenosis is likely to exist, very few cases progress to the point of generating symptoms. In most cases, the stenosis is simply there, doing no significant harm. This stenosis should be regularly monitored for signs of progression, but does not require any form of treatment. To be clear, this description fits the vast majority of people who have been diagnosed with stenosis via imaging study.
In some cases, this innocent and normal type of stenosis acts as a diagnostic scapegoat for pain and related neurological symptoms. Basically, although the stenosis is not the cause, it is blamed regardless and actively treated. This is so often seen because stenosis provides visual evidence of its existence, while many other forms of chronic pain do not. For billing purposes, it is easier to justify expensive and dramatic care (spinal surgery) with some “evidence of structural change” then by trying to link the pain to some nonstructural or idiopathic process.
Unnecessary Spinal Stenosis Surgery Help
If you have undergone stenosis surgery but still have symptoms, or have suffered even have worse symptoms, there is a good chance that your diagnosis was incorrect all along. As we mention, this happens quite often. Doctors will often make excuses for this persistent pain, blaming it on scar tissue or nerve damage, but in most cases, these are just more scapegoats. The most logical reason for surgical failure is misdiagnosis. This conclusion is supported in our work over many decades of clinical experience.
There is always hope to find that elusive cure. You can still pursue new diagnostic evaluation, hopefully with a more enlightened doctor than you chose last time. Even after several failed surgeries, you can still find lasting relief if the true source of your pain is ascertained and treated.
We see proof that it is never too late in many post-surgical patients who are eventually treated using knowledge therapy. This effective treatment path often succeeds where all manner of traditional medical practices and surgical barbarisms fail. This is why we always recommend it as a solid consideration for patients who have treatment-defiant pain, particularly after one or more failed surgeries.