Patients report problems with sexual function after cervical spine surgery
Problems of cervical instability and diseases of cervical vertebrae often manifest themselves in other symptoms and disorders of the body. This is true with cervical instability and erectile dysfunction.
Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco reported on sexual function problems in patients who underwent cervical spine surgery.
- Sexual function is an important component of patient-focused health related quality of life.
- In men, worse neck disability and the number of operated on cervical levels were associated with lower sexual function scores.
- In women, higher total number of medications and pain medications were associated with lower sexual function scores.
- 46% of patients reported difficulty performing a sexual position after surgery that they had previously enjoyed.
- Men and women who underwent cervical spine surgery had lower sexual function scores than age-matched peers, likely attributable to general mental health, regional neck disability, back pain, and medications.
- A large portion of patients reported subjectively worsened sexual function after surgery.1
Cervical surgery and erectile dysfunction
Treating the problems of cervical instability can treat the problems of erectile dysfunction. In the above research, a myriad of problems for the patients resulted in lower sexual function because of post-surgical outcomes. In past research doctors found that successful cervical surgery, had as a side-effect, improved symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
In our opinion treating cervical neck pain can be effective in helping some patients restore erectile function, however while studies suggest a casual, indirect benefit of cervical surgery on erectile dysfunction, we believe the same results can be achieved with comprehensive Prolotherapy.
- A total of 22 patients with combined cervical spondylotic myelopathy and sexual dysfunction on admission were treated with surgery for their neck problems.
- Most of these patients had an abnormal psychogenic erection (18/22, 82%) before surgery. These are erection difficulties related to emotional and psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
- but only few had an abnormal reflexogenic erection (4/22, 18%). This is the regular erection response to stimuli.
- The positive results with erectile dysfunction was attained post surgery because the patient had less depression and anxiety.2
Waiting for surgery does cause depression and anxiety.
1 Keefe MK, Zygourakis CC, Theologis AA, Canepa E, Shaw JD, Goldman LH. Sexual function after cervical spine surgery: Independent predictors of functional impairment. J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Feb;36:94-101.
2 He S, Hussain N, Zhao J, Fu Q, Hou T. Improvement of sexual function in male patients treated surgically for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Spine. 2006 Jan 1;31(1):33-6.