Our spine plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives. Spinal surgery can be intimidating as it restricts your back and neck movement until recovery. If you are planning to undergo spinal surgery or have already performed one, it’s wise to know the steps of recovery procedure to ensure a safer, faster, and comfortable recovery.

At Power Spine Clinic, our spine specialist in Mumbai believes that a successful back or neck surgery depends on a. the complexity of problem, b. skill of surgeon, c. surgical technique – minimal or open surgery and, d. how dedicatedly the patient follows the recovery procedures. So, in this blog, our back pain specialist in Mumbai has curated a few tips to enhance your recuperating process:

Step 1: Make a Move

  • Start moving immediately after the surgery. Today, almost all surgeries are such that they don’t require bed rest. Almost 90% patients are asked to start walking within 4 hours of surgery. After going home, start going for short walks as often as you can. Gradually, increase the distance every day.
  • Very few surgeries like spine injury due to accidents(Traumatic spine injury), fusion surgery with instruments (PLIF, TLIF) may need reduced activity to augment fusion. Your doctor will direct you accordingly if you need to restrict activity.
  • Avoid activities that may put excess pressure on the spine such as excessive bending, weight lifting, twisting, running or jumping.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing.
  • If you had spinal fusion surgery, avoid lifting heavy objects (usually more than 5 kg) until you have recovered completely. In case you need to lift it, try to divide it equally in both hands to distribute the weight.
  • Ask your doctor whether or not you can walk upstairs or downstairs, as for some patients, stair climbing can be risky for the first few weeks.
  • Indulge in regular exercise as adviced at the time of discharge.

Step 2: Eat Healthily

  • Medicines will never work its magic until you follow a strict diet to boost your immune system and speed up the healing process.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Since you are restricted from heavy exercise, consume less fattening foods, or foods that are high in calories.
  • Obesity can also create pressure on your back and neck. Therefore, establish a balance and consume low-fat diet rich foods.
  • In general, a high protein diet is supposed to help in boosting immunity and speed up the recovery.
  • Some medicines during post operative period may cause acidity or food may hinder their absorption. During discharge, clarify with your doctor the medicine frequency and relation to food ie whether to take before food, after food etc.

Step 3: Modify Your Sleeping Habits

  • Good sleep means your body is well-relaxed, and it gets sufficient time to heal itself. Ask your doctor to suggest the best sleeping position according to the type of surgery you had to enhance the recovery process and avoid muscle spasms.
  • For most, sleeping on your back, with head and neck slightly raised, works best for good sleep.
  • Others can use an adjustable bed or use and supportive pillow.
  • Roll a blanket or use pillows under the back of your knees. This gives a gentle raise to your hips, eliminating the pressure from your back.
  • When coming out of bed, roll on the side edge, keeping your hips and shoulders in line, and turn at the same time, to avoid twisting your spine. Use your hands to get up in a seating position and bend your legs to the side of the bed.

Step 4: Use Your Braces

  • If your doctor suggested post-operative braces or belt for extra support to your back, use them as instructed.
  • The brace is designed in a specific manner to stabilize your neck or back. Also, it limits the movement of spine fused during the surgery.
  • See that the brace is fitting well. If it is loose and allows abnormal movement or it is too tight restricting even normal movement or causing discomfort, it should be changed immediately.
  • Ask doctor how much time the brace should be used. For certain surgeries, lumbar or cervical belt is needed only during travelling. For other surgeries, belt is required at all waking hours except during bath.
  • Do ask doctor how long the belt should be used. If it is used continuously without supervision, it may cause muscle atrophy and further increase spine problem in the long run.

Step 5: Take your medicines

  • For pain management, reducing inflammation, controlling infection and increasing energy, your spine specialist will recommend a few medicines, which must be taken regularly.
  • Check for the refills to avoid causing a gap between the medicine intakes due to lack of availability.
  • In case the pain is not well-managed by the medicines, immediately consult with your doctor.
  • Do not increase the dose of medications or stop them without consulting the doctor.
  • As mentioned earlier, do ask your doctor the frequency of each medicine and its relation to food. Any mismatch can cause the medicine to be absorbed inadequately or cause side effects.

Step 6: Follow Up Consultation

  • Be clear with the doctor regarding the date of follow up after surgery.
  • In case of minimal spine surgery, usually there is no need for suture removal. The sutures are absorbable and will fall off on their own. In case, there is need for suture removal or staple removal, doctor will remove them for you on a predetermined date.
  • In any case, you must visit doctor to check the wound healing.
  • Suture removal, staple removal is not painful and only causes minimal distress. Trust me, the most painful part is already over!
  • The doctor will modify the medication at follow up and list out instructions to be followed till next follow up.
  • You must clarify following things at follow up:
    • Medicines
    • Level of activity
    • Return to work
    • Certificates if needed
    • Date for next follow up
  • Visiting doctor for follow up and checking wound may be a daunting task and you may forget to ask some questions. In case you have any doubts, please write them down beforehand, so that you don’t forget to ask them to doctor in consulting room. Doctor will be happy to clarify them for you.

Immediately call or visit your doctor before follow up date in case you suffer from the following:

  • Fever and chills
  • Unbearable pain
  • Weakness
  • Calf pain
  • Lack of sleep

All in all, spine surgery today is a very straightforward procedure and less daunting and demanding as compared to earlier times. Advent and expertise of minimal access spine surgery can lead to patient joining back from 3-4 days from surgery without any significant morbidity or post operative discomfort.

To learn more about minimal access spine surgery and how to be painfree and fully functional as soon as possible, we invite you to book a consultation session with our spine surgeon in Mumbai . At Power Spine Clinic, Country’s leading spine surgeons along with his efficient team will handle your case to ensure you get back in the life race with grace.

Vertebroplasty/ kyphoplasty is considered to be an advanced MIS treatment whose outcome majorly depends on the experience of the surgeon and the accuracy of the technologies used. And if you’re looking for such a spine surgeon in Mumbai, then Dr. Sumeet Pawar’s PowerSpine Clinic is the only place you’ll need to visit. Dr. Pawar treats all back and spine related problems with the most advanced techniques and devices to ensure highly effective outcomes. You can visit the PowerSpine Clinic at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra; Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo or Savla Hospital, Chembur to learn more about his treatments and consult him to get the best back pain treatment in Mumbai

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