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Spinal Surgery – Managing Pain vs Managing Expectations

Sometimes the biggest challenge for a spinal surgeon is not the actual surgery but the patient’s expectations.

The surgeon will explain the process to the patient with all the risks and possible complications along with the expected outcome. All of this is a lot of new information for a patient to process. This is why it’s good to bring your partner or a trusted friend to be a second set of ears. If you’re concentrating on one thing and perhaps miss the next piece of information you might not have the whole picture.

We are also more than happy for patients to come back as many times as they like prior to surgery to make sure they are happy that they understand the whole process.

Whilst Dr Moloney is an excellent surgeon he has to work within the means he has available. If a patient is 65 years old and has a spinal fusion to decrease their back pain and leg pain a positive result would mean they will still be 65 years old with a substantial decrease in their back and leg pain.

Whilst the new facilities at Wollongong Private Hospital are state of the art and very up to date sadly there is no time machine available.

A good result from spinal surgery is a decrease in pain and an increase in mobility. Luckily, most patients have spouses to help manage their expectations and to remind them of how debilitated they were prior to surgery and how great they are afterwards!

If we work out a way to turn back the clock to 25 we’ll be sure to let you know!

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