Typically most people consider for neck or back surgery only if all methods of treatments or physiotherapy failed or does not provide any relief. Even then, surgery is also not a 100% recovery option. Hence, making a decision for operation is a challenging choice. Understanding the benefits and risk is important.

Benefits of Spine Surgery

The most common reason for going neck or back surgeries is to get relief from neck and back pain. Other reasons may be:

  • Improved daily activity function and productivity
  • Better fitness and health
  • Improved mood and concentration at work/sports/daily life
  • Less reliance with pain medicines with fewer drug side effects, physiotherapy or alternative treatments

However, not everyone experiences a full reduction in neck or back pain after surgery. Studies show it is hard for surgeons to accurately predict who will benefit and who will not.

Risks of Back Surgery

The majority of people who undergo neck or back surgery may have no complications during or after surgery.

All surgeries, though, carry some degree of risk. Common risks of any neck or back surgery can include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia or other drugs
  • Bleeding or blood cots
  • Infection
  • Heart attack, strokes
  • Recurrent disc herniation
  • Nerve injuries which can result in weakness, paralysis, pain, sexual dysfunction, or loss of bowel or bladder control

The level of risk may vary depending on the type of surgery, and individual medical history.

 Types of Spine Operation:

Cervical Discectomy

Lumbar Discectomy

Spinal Fusion

Lumbar laminectomy surgery

Lumbar Decompression Surgery


It is best recommended to discuss options with your surgeons and physiotherapists of what to expect during and after operation.

Essentially, pre-operation rehabilitation (physiotherapy and specific spinal exercise) can help patients physically and mentally prepared for operation. And starting physiotherapy soon after post operation can help to recover from spine surgery as quickly and completely as possible.