Sex After Spine Surgery: Is It Possible?

You might thank of having spinal surgery as a very serious procedure – especially as it is mainly done to people later in life. Indeed, there are certain spinal deformities that come with age that require surgery on them. It doesn’t seem like a great combination, does it? The advancing age along with the clear spinal problems that has necessitated surgery. So it would be easy to believe that after the surgery is completed, there would be no chance of a normal sex life resuming. However, now it seems that these preconceived notions might be wrong, and there may be a happy ending waiting for spinal surgery patients and their sex lives after all.


The good news comes in the form of a new study. In this study a team of surgeons from the University of Virginia Health Center in Charlottesville looked into the sexual function of 62 patients who were 50 years and older and who had received extensive spinal surgery to deal with age-related problems – and the results might be surprising. It seems that the team found out that it is indeed highly possible for older people to achieve satisfactory sexual function and enjoy their sex lives despite having this surgery. This is good news, as surgery is often thought of as a drastic procedure that could have lasting damage on your ability to live your life the way you did before the surgery.


In the study, the surgery was described as using spinal instrumentation. This instrumentation would be considered a device or a serious of complex devices such as screws, hooks, rods, wires, cables, plates or spinal cage, which is attached to vertebrae of spine to help to deal with or correct some sort of deformity and instability of the spine. These types of instruments and surgery are used in patients who suffer with spinal disorders caused by advanced age, but could also be used for those who suffer from congenital defects, illness, or trauma.


It was suggested by the study that it is well known that weakness or deformity of the spine is a fairly common sign of aging and can be seen in many older people. The authors were even able to cite another study that reported that the likelihood of spinal deformity in the elderly might be as high as 68 per cent. This is a truly huge number when you consider that the number of elderly people is always increasing thanks to healthier lifestyles and a better understanding of how to treat our bodies right. Nevertheless, this spinal deformity often appears to be purely a natural symptom of age that we can do nothing about.


Indeed, it could be argued that as the baby-boomer section of the population naturally moves toward the status of being ‘elderly’, more and more surgeries will likely need to be performed to correct spinal deformity and improve their quality of life as they inexorably get older. And it is certainly true that sexual function is a very important aspect of health-related quality of life. However, it always appears to have been largely overlooked as an important factor in older adults with spinal instrumentation. The surgeons who are authors of this paper made it their goal to examine whether and how spinal instrumentation affects these patients’ sexual function and contributes in that way to their quality of life.


Overall, it is clear that the patients who require spinal surgery can lead a normal and healthy sex life after they have had spinal instrumentation inserted inside them. This is naturally very good news for their quality of life.

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