December 7, 2016 by: Luis Manuel Tumialan MD
​​​​​​​Back Pain


Before undergoing any surgical spine procedure, it is important to understand the risks involved. As with any surgery, there are risks of infection and poor reactions to the anesthesia. Spine surgery carries some specific and potentially serious risks. Dr. Luis M. Tumialán educates all of our patients on spine surgery risks during the consultation process at our Phoenix, AZ office. Doing so ensures patients can make an informed decision about their treatment and can take the necessary steps to reduce their risk as much as possible.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Blood clots in the veins, referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT, are a concern with any surgical procedure. When undetected, these blood clots can cause severe pain and swelling. They can also lead to a collapsed lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. These types of blood clots are an even greater concern following procedures on the lower half of the body, including the spine. Dr. Tumialán will provide you with detailed instructions to reduce your risk of DVT, which may include movement or medications.

Hardware Fracture or Implant Migration
Your risk for hardware fracture or implant migration will vary depending on the type of spine surgery you receive. Many procedures involve the placement of screws, plates, or other hardware. In some cases, this hardware can break, causing pain and other complications. It may require an additional surgery to correct these problems.In some cases, a device, known as an implant, is placed to help stabilize the spine. One of the risks of these implants is migration. Not only does migration mean the spine is no longer stabilized, but it can also cause severe damage to other internal organs. Dr. Tumialán will monitor the device through x-rays at your follow-up visits to detect migration before serious damage occurs.

Spinal Cord Injury
There is risk of injuring the spinal cord with any spine surgery. Damage to the spinal cord could result in paralysis in one or more areas of the body. The degree of paralysis is dependent on the area of the spinal cord that suffers damage. One of the best ways to mitigate this risk is to work with a skilled surgeon such as Dr. Tumialán. His advanced training and techniques help to limit your risk of severe, permanent injury.

Ongoing Pain
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that spine surgery will eliminate all (or any) of your pain. If your surgery is only partially successful, it may mean that you experience less pain, but the chronic pain still exists. If the procedure is unsuccessful, you may continue experiencing pain at a similar level to what you experienced prior to surgery.

Essentially meaning a false joint, this term refers to mobility in a section of the spine where there should be none. This can happen if a fusion was unsuccessful. This mobility can also cause hardware fractures, all of which can increase your pain.

Learn More about the Potential Side Effects
If you are in need of spinal surgery, it is important to fully understand the potential side effects. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss these potential risks with Dr. Tumialán.

Contact Us

If you are struggling with pain, weakness, loss of function, or other symptoms of spinal complications, contact Dr. Tumialán's office today.

Spine-Talks Featuring Dr. Tumialán