Contact Info

Some Patients Don’t Recover After Spine Surgery

Why Some Patients Don’t Recover After Spine Surgery?

You're not the only one concerned about the recovery process following back pain surgery. Increasing numbers of Americans are turning to surgery to alleviate their back pain. The number of adults in the United States who have chronic back pain increased by 64% between 2000 and 2007.

Meanwhile, between 1998 and 2008, the number of hospital discharges for lumbar fusions rose by 170.9 percent, while laminectomies rose by 11.3 percent. Back surgeries are more common, but the fundamentals of a good recovery remain the same.

Time of Recovery

The time it takes to recover from back surgery depends on the procedure. Discectomy recovery time ranges from six to eight weeks.

Laminectomy or fusion surgery, on the other hand, takes longer to recover from. Your body may need up to 12 weeks to fully recover from these "more involved" procedures. Healing can last for up to a year in some cases.

If you had a spinal fusion, you could expect to be out of work for four to six weeks if you are young, healthy, and your job isn't particularly physically demanding. Returning to work after major surgery can take anywhere from four to six months for the elderly.

The time it takes to recover from back surgery isn't solely determined by the procedure itself. Pre-surgery fitness, age, and the severity of your condition all play a role. As we get older, our bodies ability to heal decreases, making recovery times longer.

Precautions to be taken while participating in an activity

Avoiding bending, lifting, and twisting while recovering from back surgery is essential, no matter how well your pain is controlled. Excessive pressure is placed on your spine when you bend over, lift more than ten pounds, or twist your torso.

It is necessary to slow down and be mindful to avoid bending, lifting, and twisting, which we perform daily without even realizing it. Squat down instead of bending your knees to get to something on the floor.

You can use a reacher, a claw on a long handle that can be used to grab light items like a magazine, phone, or remote control while keeping your spine in a neutral position if squatting is too difficult for you. Having a pair of sturdy slip-shoes or slippers on hand for when you're recuperating is also an excellent idea. Putting on socks and shoes doesn't have to be a struggle.

Avoid torso twisting by moving your entire body while maintaining proper alignment of your hips and shoulders. This is especially true when getting in and out of bed or a car (or any other vehicle, for that matter). When it's time for bed:

  • Sit on the bed's edge first.
  • Lower your upper body so that it rests on one elbow.
  • Finally, raise your legs onto the bed and relax.

Recovering from Back Surgery: Do's and Don'ts

Are you preparing for a back operation? Take a long-term view of your recovery and use these pointers to get back on track.

  • Even if you need to exercise caution while recovering, you shouldn't become too comfortable on the couch. On the contrary, you are lying down for prolonged periods after back surgery is a common blunder people make. Your body becomes weaker and stiffer the longer you lie in bed or on the couch.
  • Those joints contain fluid that, when heated, acts like gravy, so we must keep them moving. The fluid heated to a higher temperature is more effective at lubricating joints and relieving pain. You lose strength and endurance quickly when you don't work out. Motion is lotion, to put it simply.
  • Make Prehab a Top Priority: Improving your physical condition before surgery increases your chances of a quicker and easier recovery. Before undergoing any procedure, speak with a physical therapist. Even though you may be in pain, a physical therapist is highly skilled at determining what you can do and strengthening the joints around the problem area, so in the end, you'll have a better outcome."
  • Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, or OCS, is a designation to look for in a physician when you're trying to find the best one for your needs.
  • Preparation for your post-surgery rehabilitation should begin months, if not years, before your surgery. If you wait until after your surgery to schedule an appointment, you risk being placed on a waiting list. Physical therapy can be hampered if it is started too late.

Make some appointments even if you don't know what your post-op schedule will look like, knowing that you can always change them if necessary. You'll have one less thing to worry about after surgery when you're groggy and dealing with recovery.

As you get ready for your back surgery, remember that recovering will take time and effort. Preparing for surgery, maintaining an active lifestyle following surgery, and working with a physical therapist are all ways to expedite the healing process and help you get back into the swing of things sooner rather than later.