Martin Murphy

Is spine surgery risky?

Endoscopic lumbar discectomy

Nothing in life is risk free. The risks of spine surgery are small, but certainly not zero. I would not recommend surgery to you unless I honestly felt that the potential risks were outweighed by a significant potential benefit to you. The precise risks depend on the inidividual case (your scans/your symptoms/pre-existing deficits/previous surgeries/use of instrumentation/medical co-morbidities/obesity). The most commonly encountered complications with all spine surgery procedures are infection, CSF leak, nerve root damage, scar formation. By far the most common "risk" is that the surgery might not work. If you feel that you can't face these risks, then I would advise you against spinal surgery.

What if I haven’t any health insurance?

How costly is surgery if I don't have any health insurance?

If you haven’t any health insurance cover, then spinal surgery in a private hospital can be expensive. My secretary can call the hospitals and get an all-in price for any procedures that I may recommend.

Whilst spinal surgery is expensive, the cost of not being able to work to full capacity is often more financially debilitating.


  • Suite 16 Blackrock Clinic : Alternate Mondays
  • Suite 15 Beacon Hospital: Alternate Mondays
  • Affidea Clinic in Kilkenny: Tuesday once a month

Can I be seen in the public system?

Yes. I would be very happy to see you and treat you in the public health system also in Tallaght University Hospital or Naas General Hospital. An unfortunate result of decades of inadequate resourcing of both the hospital network in general, and spinal surgery specifically, is an admittedly unacceptable long waiting time both to be seen in the outpatients clinic and to be operated on. All patients are seen and operated on on the basis of clinical need.

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