The Truth About Spine Surgery: 8 Myths Debunked

Uncovering the truth behind spine surgery myths and misconceptions. According to Dr. Gurneet, one of the best spine surgeon in Mumbai, the popularity of spine surgery has increased due to its efficacy and positive results

Gurneet Sawhney Created on 8th Feb, 23

You have tried everything: painkillers, physiotherapy, massages, and yoga. However, your back pain won't go away.

You might be now wondering: Is spine surgery the solution?

The majority of people find the mere prospect of having spine surgery terrifying. It is a result of the fabrication of myths and facts surrounding the surgery. Spine surgery is one of the most popular, safe, and effective approaches.


The spine is the structure that supports our backs. If not addressed promptly, spinal problems can impact a person's physical stability and quality of life in addition to being painful. Many individuals tend to ignore the disorder's symptoms and associated causes. 


Therefore, if someone experiences spine-related problems primarily marked by pain and discomfort for an extended period, they should immediately seek proper treatment from a top spine specialist in Mumbai.

According to Dr. Gurneet Singh Sawhney, one of the best spine surgeon in Mumbai, people who undergo spine surgery can resume their normal lives and pain-free everyday activities. Most physical tests and associated treatments are advised based on the evaluation of the symptoms, with surgery being the final option.


The efficacy and positive results of spine surgery have increased its appeal. However, there are still several myths about spine surgery that need to be dispelled for individuals to make the right choices and get rid of their misunderstandings to enhance their quality of life. 


Discover the truth behind the following eight common spine surgery myths before proceeding.  Additionally, make sure to share any queries and worries with your doctor. They can assist in determining whether spine surgery is the best option for treating your back problems.


Below are the top 8 spine surgery myths and facts:

Myth#1: All spine surgeries are major procedures.

Fact: Although the spine occupies a significant portion of the body, not every spinal surgery must be a major operation. Spine surgery has progressed over time. Several spinal procedures are minimally invasive that involve only a few tiny incisions instead of large ones. 


According to Dr. Gurneet Singh Sawhney, these procedures are typically quicker than major conventional surgeries and need less recovery time. Additionally, they leave fewer scars and carry a lower risk of infection and minimal post-operative pain. 


Moreover, Dr. Gurneet Singh Sawhney has several years of expertise in executing minimally invasive spine and neuro surgeries.

If you suffer from one of the below disorders, minimally invasive spine surgery might be an option for you:

  •  Spinal deformities, such as scoliosis
  • Spinal instability
  •  Herniated discs
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal infections
  • Spinal tumors

Myth#2: A spine surgeon will always advise surgery.

Fact: Your spine surgeon knows that only some are candidates for surgery. Surgery is one choice a spine specialist may consider when you visit them. Initially, they might prescribe non-surgical treatments for back discomfort or instability, such as acupuncture or physiotherapy.


There are several ways to treat many spine disorders, but the goal should be to find a treatment that is as less invasive as possible, whether through non-surgical or surgical treatment. Patients must receive tailored, well-informed care in a collaborative setting so they can choose what is best for them.

Myth#3: Recovery from spine surgery is excruciatingly painful.

Fact: After surgery, it is common to have pain. Generally speaking, the first one to three days following surgery is when pain is at its worst. It should then start to subside. After the procedure, you can experience mild to moderate discomfort for up to six weeks, but you shouldn't experience excruciating pain.


Extremely intense pain is not usual in recovery, especially in the initial days after surgery. In addition to discomfort, other symptoms include fever, chills, numbness, tingling, and loss of bladder or bowel control.  If you experience any of these symptoms or intense pain that won't go away, seek medical attention right away.

Myth#4: Recovery following spinal surgery is too lengthy.

Fact: Some back procedures indeed require a longer recovery period. However, the length of your recovery depends on various factors, like age, the area of your back being operated on, the precise technique carried out, or your general health.


For example, it might take a few weeks to recover from a discectomy or foraminotomy. In contrast, it may take at least three to four months for the bones to recover if you have a laminectomy or fusion surgery. In rare circumstances, a complete recovery could take up to a year.

Ask your surgeon if you can work or exercise throughout the recovery period and what to expect in terms of recovery time. 

Myth#5: After surgery, you will develop a painkiller addiction.

Fact: Opioids are potent pain relievers frequently administered for pain following surgery and are known to be addictive. 

Don't freak out, though, if your doctor gives you an opioid prescription. They will carefully coordinate with you to ensure you take them appropriately and securely. Instead of opioids, your doctor might prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, or drugs that release molecules to lessen pain.


And keep in mind that you won't completely depend on medicine when recovering from spine surgery. Doctors often recommend physiotherapy or rehabilitation as a non-medication approach to recovery.

Myth#6: Surgery is necessary if a person has damaged discs.

Fact: Most people suffer from herniated discs, a common spinal disorder. The most widespread belief is that surgery is necessary to correct the problem. This is untrue. 


Many people have found relief from back pain through non-surgical techniques like physiotherapy and simple exercises. These are the first steps in the therapeutic process, and the patients have responded well to them.

Myth#7: Spine surgery offers complete relief from back pain.

Fact: By restoring the spine's functionality and alleviating back discomfort, spinal surgery has successfully treated problems related to the spine. However, procedures may not fully resolve the issues and do not always offer total pain relief. It is necessary to adhere to specific guidelines, like keeping a healthy body weight, leading a healthy and active lifestyle, and eating a balanced diet.

Myth#8: After having spine surgery, the patient will need another.

Fact: Patients who have had spine surgery once only rarely need revision surgery in the future. Patients typically only have one spinal surgery. They must faithfully adhere to all post-operative instructions. 

These recommendations are made for people to engage in light exercises and make necessary lifestyle changes for a speedy recovery.


Spine surgery can be a game changer. Surgery may seem terrifying, but a successful procedure can leave your back feeling as good as new. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about surgery if you are eligible for it.

Relevant Questions

Q. What is Spinal Cord Stimulation, and who can benefit from same?

Spinal cord stimulation is recommended for an increasing number of painful health problems. A two-step screening process is typically used to determine whether a person is a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation. The first step is based on the person’s medical condition and begins with a thorough assessment by the doctor. If the person fits the criteria then the doctor will arrange a trial period. 

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Q. What could be the causes of backpain?

The following are the most common causes of back pain. That is,

  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney problems
  • a strain on the back or any of its parts
  • Arthritis
  • Abnormal spine curvature
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Q. What are the pre-operative measures before undergoing spinal fusion?

Preoperative measures are nothing very specific.

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Q. Can one engage in high intensity exercises even after fully recovering and resting after spinal fusion?

High-intensity exercises are not recommended after spinal fusion.

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Q. Through what lifestyle modifications can i manage spine related disorders?

  • Regular back strengthening exercises.
  • Abdominal exercises
  • Avoid lifting heavyweights
  • Avoiding jerky rides
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