Part One: Many spinal conditions can be treated non-operatively.
Part Two: If spinal surgery is suggested, it doesn’t automatically require fusion.
Part Three: Spinal fusion may offer a better qualify of life, rather than adapting to the pain.
Part Four: Not all spinal fusions and surgeons are created equal.
Quite simply put, using nicotine is the worst thing you can do to your spine. Smoking kills the little blood vessels that deliver oxygen to your body causing you to age faster. Smoking kills your discs causing back pain. Smoking also increases the receptors in your brain that cause you to feel pain.
Finally, smoking prevents the body from healing and if people use nicotine around the time of surgery, they have much higher rates of wound infection, failure of fusion, medical complications, and chronic pain. If you are going to have a spine surgery, you need to do everything you can to make it a success. NOT using nicotine is absolutely the most important thing you can do to help you spine now and in the future.
As we age, most of us want to continue to feel as good as possible, stay active and enjoy our later years. Smoking causes people to age faster, hurt more, lose function ,and die earlier than they should.
Please, if you are going to do one thing after reading this article, consider quitting.
Dr. Christopher Good is a double board certified spine surgeon and the President of Virginia Spine Institute. Established as a world expert in the field, Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics, navigation, and augmented reality (AR) in spine surgery. He performed the first two-level disc replacement in Metro DC, Maryland, and Virginia region, and continues to evolve motion-enhancing procedures for patients suffering from neck and back conditions. Dr. Good has been named “Top Doctor” consistently over the past decade. Learn more about Dr. Christopher Good.