What are the risks of spine surgery?

Dr. Don Y. Park, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Many of the risks of spine surgery are associated with surgery itself, such as bleeding, infection and wound problems. Nerve damage and blood vessel damage can occur. Other risks of spine surgery include:

  • incomplete resolution of pain and symptoms with continued pain and symptoms
  • non-union, with the bones not healing or the fusion not healing
  • implant failure
  • need for further surgeries in the future
  • neurological deterioration and deficit
  • spinal cord injury
  • paralysis
  • anesthesia risks
  • medical complications such as heart attack, stroke and even death

When confronted with this list of risks for surgery, many people are quite afraid of undergoing surgery. However, with the correct indications for surgery and having an excellent surgeon who can also be a great diagnostician, people can have excellent results despite these risks of surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.