Spine surgery is one of the most common surgeries a person can have. There are many types of surgery that a surgeon may need to perform. However, following all doctors’ instructions is the best way to rest and recover faster. Otherwise, recovery could be slower than desired or cause more damage than was necessary.
But how does one go about recovering from spine surgery without getting into trouble? In this article, we outline what Americans with spinal cord injuries should do to get back in shape quicker so that they may return to sports quickly and smoothly.
What happens during the surgery?
While the exact details of this surgery vary, it typically starts with an instrument being inserted into the area of concern. This is done to cut out as much of the damaged area as possible and create a space for healing.
- The surgeon also goes through a process called “debridement.” This means that tissue is removed and cleaned up for healing to start.
- After this, the incision site is wrapped with sutures and stitched together to help keep everything intact.
- Once the wound has healed, another incision is made alongside it. This incision may be in different locations depending on how severe the damage from the original surgery is. The doctor would perform a “laminotomy.” This process requires the surgeon to remove and remove as much of the damaged spinal cord as possible. This also gives room for the area of one’s back to heal, which is located in between two bones called laminae.
- After this, a plate or screw would be inserted into the vertebra and fastened tightly with screws. This procedure helps to add structural support to your damaged spine. Once all this has been completed, patients are wheeled out and taken into recovery, where they will receive more instructions on how they should best recover from their surgery. For example, the patient may have to refrain from going up and down stairs or sleeping on their backs.
Many surgeons use spinal implants during surgery to help promote faster healing and recovery time. Once released, they will receive the necessary instructions to heal and restore movement. The Premia Spine TOPS System is one of the examples of such implants. It helps restore flexibility and range of motion a person wants while allowing patients to heal faster.
So how do you recover from this type of surgery?
As we start discussing recovery, it is essential to remember that certain things should not be done for a specific time. For instance, a person should not be “immobilized” for longer than eight weeks after surgery. This means they should not be confined to a bed or hospital bed while recovering. Instead, they should be able to move around freely as much as possible, and one needs to take caution against doing too much physical activity too soon after surgery.
- Patients should not be under any sort of stress whatsoever. For example, they should not make any major decisions during this period of their lives due to the increased risk of making a wrong choice.
- Patients may also wish to avoid driving during these recovery periods, as it is dangerous to do so before one is 100 percent recovered.
- Some doctors may try to release their patients from being under care before eight weeks have passed because some have been known to tolerate being up sooner after surgery than others.
- Whatever the case, it is advised that one always follows the doctor’s orders regarding recovery times to avoid any complications that would inhibit the body from healing on time.
- Patients specifically need to do some things before surgery. For example, if a person was into tennis before the injury, they should return to their old classes. They could also try something new. The point is to get them moving again because they won’t know when to play sports or exercise again.
Also of importance is getting enough sleep. This means going to sleep early and waking up regularly every day for one’s body not to be overly tired during recovery periods. It is also a good idea to drink enough fluids, as this will help to reduce swelling and fatigue. If a patient’s condition allows it, they may wish to take up hot water-based sponging baths that are used to help heal the body after surgery. Doing so will also aid in speeding up recovery periods.
What are the risks associated with going back into sports too quickly?
One of the most common problems many people have when coming back too soon after a spine injury is that their muscles become overused due to exercise and physical activity without enough time (reversible muscle injuries).
In other words, one may be trying to run or play tennis too soon after surgery, but they may not be strong enough to do so. In such a case, using their muscles will result in overuse and lead to muscle pulls and even tears in some cases. There is also evidence that the more activity a person does after the surgery, the higher their risk of having an early start at arthritis. This means that if one goes back into sports quickly, their joints will have a greater chance of being damaged, and inflammation may occur.
Finally, there is also a risk of being injured again due to the weakened body from the surgery itself. An example of this is a person may be able to start running and going to the gym again based on their doctor’s orders, but they may still have not been able to heal from the original surgery. All because of overstretching, one may develop a severe injury if they ignore these doctors’ orders.
So why should a patient take the issue of their spine surgery recovery seriously? Because if they don’t, they could end up causing themselves more pain and suffering in the long run. Thus it is vital to follow doctor’s orders, work hard to regain one’s strength and stamina, and do so quickly. In doing so, one will heal as soon as possible while enjoying participating in physical activities again.
Our article aimed to provide a basic overview of how long it takes to recover from spinal surgery and other issues with recovering from spinal surgery. If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to drop us an email or leave your comment. We will get back to you as soon as possible!