Dr. Bell's Blog

Chiropractic Care AFTER Back Surgery


There are times where spinal surgery can be necessary and helpful, although it should be your last course of action. Well over 1 million spinal surgeries are performed every year in the U.S., and research shows the success rate comes in right around 50% or less. For every subsequent spinal surgery, that success rate decreases even further. So what is the answer? Whether you had a successful surgery, or one of the unfortunate one’s who did not, further conservative management of the problem will likely be needed. There are a few avenues you can take with this, but one of them is definitely chiropractic. Let’s explore how this is possible depending on the type of surgery…

4 Types of Spinal Surgeries:

  1. Laser: This is the newest and definitely the least invasive. This type is not done readily, and is only good at this time for certain types of problems.

  2. Microdiscectomy: For this type of surgery, they will “trim” away a portion of the disc that is protruding or bulging out, ultimately causing nerve impingement. It is a relatively small surgery with a fairly quick recovery.

  3. Laminetomy: With this surgery they remove a portion of the vertebrae called the lamina (essentially the roof of the spinal canal). This provides more room for the the spinal canal and spinal nerves in hope of reducing pressure. This is obviously a major surgery.

  4. Fusion: This is when two or more vertebrae are fused together to form one single immobile unit. This stabilizes the unit in an effort to help relieve pain and irritation. In some cases one or more discs are removed and replaced with a “spacer” of sorts.

Regardless of the type of surgery, chiropractic can help after the operation. There is always a period of healing that must happen before you can resume chiropractic (consult your surgeon for that time frame), but ultimately in most cases it can once again begin. We have relationships with many great surgeons in our area who many times not only send patients to us before surgery, but also after. This should speak to the safety of it. Of course, our method of spinal adjustments may change following surgery, but we can still help in providing significant palliative relief and management of the problem going forward. In many cases we will use instrument adjusting, which utilizes a gentle and very specific approach to spinal correction and care. This allows us to work in close proximity to the surgical site, but not disturb it. Remember, even if a spinal surgery becomes necessary, it does not mean that 100% of your pain and problem will be solved. In many cases there will need to be continued care to the area.

If you or someone you know is either contemplating having spinal surgery, or still suffering following surgery, please think about giving chiropractic care a try. It has been proven to help with a wide variety of problems both before and after surgery. Of course, we also prefer you do not have to go through a surgery, especially an invasive one. Be proactive. Take continuous action to improve your health, especially before symptoms occur, so you too can…

LIVE well. BE well.