Recovering after spine surgery can be challenging. A positive attitude and a goal-oriented mindset will help steer your recovery in the right direction. One of the most recent and significant advances in spine surgery is allowing patients to undergo surgery in a single day and return to the comfort of their own homes to recover.
Patients who undergo outpatient procedures return to work sooner and engage in everyday activities sooner than those who undergo traditional surgeries. Your recovery will depend on your overall health, age, nutrition, and the type of spinal surgery you have had. Patients who commit to physical therapy post-surgery have a better chance of reaching optimal recovery.
Keep in mind these simple tips to help you recover:
- Pain Management - Taking your prescribed medication is a critical part of healing. Don't take more pain medication than instructed, and call your surgeon if your prescribed medication does not control your pain.
- Prioritize Sleep - You need a good amount of sleep for a speedy recovery. Sleep may be challenging as it can be uncomfortable, but it is crucial to your healing.
- Incision Care - Follow your surgeon's instructions on when and how to bathe. Monitor your scar in the days after surgery. Infections are one of the leading causes of hospital readmission after spinal surgery.
- Walk - Make this an essential part of your day once your surgeon gives you the green light to take short walks. Listen to your body, and do not overdo it. Several short walks are better than one long walk.
- Eat Healthily - A poor diet can lead to inflammation and make your recovery time drag out. Prepare healthy options before surgery to make eating healthy once healing easier.
- Post-Operative Bracing- If you have been prescribed a brace after spinal surgery, wear it as your surgeon suggests. Successful surgery is dependent on your spine being stabilized and supported post-surgery.
- Physical Therapy - Patients who commit to physical therapy post-surgery have a better chance of reaching optimal recovery. PT is integral to recovery because it helps you regain and build strength, flexibility, and physical endurance.
Adopting healthy habits and setting goals after surgery can help prevent future health issues and help you get the most out of your recovery. Afterall, the goal is to get back to life free from debilitating spine pain.
Dr. Brett Braly is a board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery. Dr. Braly is a leading advocate for minimally invasive techniques in spine surgery. Dr. Braly is named in the top “20 under 40” best spine surgeons by the North American Spine Society.