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Benefits of Spinal Surgery for Patients With a Higher BMI

Benefits of Spinal Surgery for Patients With a Higher BMI

How Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Can Help

While many spinal surgeons turn away patients with higher BMIs, having surgery can prove to be beneficial for these patients' quality of life. The spinal health experts at Inspired Spine are here to break down the connection between weight and back pain and outline how surgical intervention may be the right treatment option.

Understanding What it Means to be Overweight or Obese

Being overweight or obese means that an individual is consistently maintaining a weight that is higher than what is considered a normal, healthy range for their heigh. Although this can heavily depend on your individual health needs and lifestyle, your body mass index (BMI) is typically used by doctors to determine whether or not your weight is above a healthy range.

Depending on your height, weight, and gender—your BMI can fall into the following categories:

  • Underweight: Below 18.5.
  • Healthy weight: 18.5 to 24.9.
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9.
  • Obese: Above 30.

How Being Overweight Affects Your Spinal Health

When you carry excess weight, your body is less able to distribute it evenly. This places unnecessary strain on your weight-bearing joints, especially your spine. Although it's normal for these weight-bearing joints to experience degeneration over time from daily wear and tear over the years, excess weight can speed up cartilage damage.

Along with wearing away the cartilage between your joints, excess weight gain can also place cause pain-causing inflammation that places pressure on the nerves in the neck and back.

Why Overweight Patients Are Often Turned Away for Surgery

With traditional spinal surgery, it is common for surgeons to turn away patients who are overweight or obese due to the increased risk of complications. With this extra tissue, the following weight-related issues can arise or affect the outcomes of traditional spinal surgery:

  • Difficulty accessing the right area of the spine.
  • Misdiagnoses and improper recommended treatment.
  • Improper positioning.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Cardiovascular complications,
  • Deep vein thrombosis.
  • Pulmonary embolism.
  • Higher risk for infection.

How Minimally Invasive Surgical Intervention Can Help

Typically it is recommended that overweight and obese patients lose weight before considering spinal surgery. However, many of these patients are unable to exercise due to the pain they are experiencing, making the issue a vicious cycle.

With advancements in technology and surgical techniques, the experienced and knowledgeable surgeons at Inspired Spine are able to help patients with higher BMIs to find some much-needed relief.

With minimally invasive spinal surgery, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Less anesthesia is needed.
  • Shorter surgery times.
  • Less damage to surrounding tissue.
  • Increased precision and dexterity.
  • Smaller incisions.
  • Less scarring.
  • Less pain after surgery.
  • Decreased risk of infection and surgical complications.
  • Less blood loss during surgery.
  • Faster recovery times.

If you suffer from persistent neck and back pain that is getting in the way of your everyday life, be sure to reach out to our team of experienced surgeons who can help find a solution to your specific condition. With decades of research and thousands of patients with positive outcomes, our team at Inspired Spine is here to help you get back to the life you love, pain-free.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in Minnesota

When it comes to aches and pains, the discomfort that affects your back can be more than just an annoyance—it can negatively affect your quality of life and take away your sense of independence. At Inspired Spine, our experienced and knowledgeable spinal surgeons are dedicated to relieving your chronic back pain with the least invasive treatment possible.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our spine surgeons, call (952) 225-5266 today.