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What to Know About Recovering from Spinal Surgery

Aug 17, 2021

Going through spinal surgery can be a difficult decision for many people, but can end up as the only viable option for providing you with lasting pain relief. If you have tried other more conservative treatment options without experiencing much pain relief or success, then your doctor may recommend spinal surgery. People worry about the whole spinal surgery process as well as the recovery period. Taking care of yourself after spinal surgery is just as important and neurosurgery in Marietta will make sure you understand post-operative care.

Reasons for Spinal Surgery

You may need spinal surgery for a variety of reasons. Many people are surprised to find out that there are different types of spinal surgeries, ranging from major procedures to minimally invasive surgeries. Technologies in spinal surgery have advanced to where you may be able to undergo a spinal surgery that only requires a few small incisions. Spinal surgery may be recommended or necessary when other treatment options have been unable to provide you with any lasting relief from your injury or condition. Injuries and conditions that may require spinal surgery include spinal stenosis, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal infections, and spinal fusion.

What to Expect after Spinal Surgery

The type of spinal surgery you have will depend on your specific details and needs for post-operative care. However, there are some procedures and experiences that most people can come to expect after spinal surgery. Here are a few examples of what you may expect if you have to get spinal surgery:

  • Wound Care

    You will need to take good care of the incision site to promote healing and also to avoid infection. Wound care refers to taking care of the incision sites where your doctor cut through the skin to perform the procedure. This will include changing the dressing on the wounds as needed to ensure the area is dry and properly covered. It is possible to have pain and inflammation around the incision site after the surgery. Typically, this only lasts for a few days and you can reach out to your doctor if you are concerned.

  • Restricted Movements

    In the immediate aftermath of neurosurgery in Marietta, some of your movements may be restricted. Surgical technologies have improved significantly and now many people can expect to start moving around the same day or the next day after surgery. These usually involve small movements like sitting and walking. Your doctor will talk to you about your regular exercises, including when is appropriate to resume these activities safely.

  • Pain and Discomfort

    You may experience pain and discomfort during the recovery period from spinal surgery. In many cases, doctors will prescribe pain medication while you are at the hospital and then reduce the dosage once you are discharged. You may also be interested in natural and drug-free approaches to pain relief from spinal surgery. Chiropractors and physical therapists can help with post-operative care to provide natural and safe therapeutic stretches and exercises as you recover.

  • Sleep Habits

    Many people experience temporary changes to their sleeping habits after neurosurgery in Marietta. Your doctor will likely recommend certain sleep positions and a firm mattress to support healthy spinal alignment. You may put a pillow under your knees to help take the pressure off of your lower back. You may also experience pain and discomfort from moving from a sleeping position to standing, and it can help to turn onto your side and sit up gently.

  • Supportive Devices

    Your doctor may also recommend utilizing supportive devices for a certain period of time after spinal surgery. Supportive devices like a back brace can help provide additional support and stability to the spine while it recovers. Supportive devices can also help prevent you from certain movements that could exacerbate your pain and remind you to be careful after surgery.

  • Physical Therapy

    Physical therapy is a common aspect of recovery from spinal surgery. You may meet with a physical therapist to learn about ways to gently start moving again, including stretching and exercising. Since your spine is involved in all the movements you make, you want to make sure you are regaining your strength and mobility in a safe and therapeutic environment.

Learn more about neurosurgery in Marietta at AICA Orthopedics and find out whether spinal surgery may be recommended for you.

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