Any patient's first step toward recovery is undergoing surgery. It is essential for patients to follow their surgeon's instructions, even if the procedure is simple and quick. Now is the time to put your energy into getting better and following through on the treatment plan you and your doctor devised.
Keep this list of DOs and DON'Ts in mind as you work your way back to health.
Following a spinal fusion, you'll want to ensure you do the following things.
For a good reason, people say, "Doctor knows best," and that is one of the best advice we can give them after surgery: trust your doctor. During your consultation, they'll be able to provide you with detailed information regarding your surgery and recovery. Over the next few weeks, you'll use this personalized advice as your guide.
After surgery, resist the urge to lie in bed all day. Even though we don't expect you to return to work the following day, any activity is better than lying in bed when it comes to healing. It is important to gradually return to normal activities after surgery to reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow.
Avoid relying solely on TV dinners and takeout after surgery, but avoid relying exclusively on salads. When you cannot get enough exercise, you're more likely to gain weight and put more strain on your spine. Increased surgical site inflammation and slowed recovery can also result from poor food choices. Make a few easy-to-reheat meals ahead of time, so you have something to eat when you return from the hospital.
Patients with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels more closely and keep them stable in the days following surgery. High blood sugar levels can hamper the healing process and wound healing. The risk of infection and other adverse outcomes increases as the concentrations rise. Too low of a blood sugar level can also be dangerous.
Every patient's healing process will be unique. The type of surgery you have and the potential for swelling will affect your recovery time. A slew of other variables can affect how quickly you recover and how much and where your pain changes over time. Tracking your progress is best done by defining your feelings before and after surgery. This information is handy when you follow up with your surgeon and can help identify potential issues and give you the information you can put to good use.
Here are some things you should avoid following spine surgery.
If you push yourself too hard, too soon, you run the risk of stalling your recovery. After a week of intense rehabilitation, you shouldn't expect to recover from an injury altogether. Talk to your doctor about changing your physical therapy schedule if you're not satisfied with the progress you're making.
When it comes to rehabilitation, consistency is essential. Don't skip any of your physical therapy or rehab sessions. Consistency in your recovery strategy can make the difference between a pain-free life and one that will be plagued by discomfort for the rest of your life.
Last, if you notice something is amiss, do not ignore it and hope it improves. Consult your physician if you notice any signs of infection or if your pain is getting worse rather than better. Keeping your rehab on track is essential if you want to avoid big problems down the road.
A new diet or a reduced caloric intake should not be undertaken in the immediate aftermath of an upcoming procedure. Your body will require the necessary building blocks to heal and regain normal function. Every meal should include a protein-rich ingredient. Animal or plant-based protein is acceptable. Consume foods high in nutrients derived from whole, unprocessed foods. It's fine to take protein shakes in addition to your regular diet. If you're feeling particularly repellent, you should see a doctor immediately.
This is going to annoy smokers. Smoking interferes with bone and tissue healing, and that is a fact. This raises the risk of wound infection, which would necessitate additional surgery.
Gardening is also included in this! You may put off tackling your "honey-do" list, even if you're feeling great. Because you want to give your body and mind the time it needs to recuperate, if you're having surgery, talk to your doctor about how long it will take and what kinds of activities you should avoid while recovering.
As soon as you experience any of the following symptoms: a fever, loss of feeling in your arms or legs, difficulty in the bathroom or bowel movements, or worsening back pain, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.