The human neck is a mobile and vulnerable part of the human body. Many people suffer from neck pain or complications, resulting in a lower quality of life; neck surgery can help relieve pain and get you back on track to a healthy life. However, you may be worried about the risks involved in getting neck surgery.
What are the possible complications you could have following neck surgery?
While complications are rare in neck surgery, you should still be aware of the risks you are taking. Here are some complications that you should be aware of following your neck fusion surgery.
Potential Risks of Neck Surgery
Any surgery comes with its risks, and neck surgery is no exception. Your doctor will be able to fill you in on potential risks for your specific surgery. Complications can include, but are not limited to:
- Bleeding at the surgical site
- Injury to or around the spinal cord
- Degeneration of tissue around the surgical site
- Chronic pain following the surgical procedure
- Spinal fluid leakage
You can expect different risks depending on the nature of your surgery as well as whether the surgery is performed on the front or back of your neck. Fortunately, the likelihood that you will develop complications is low; however, you still need to be prepared if complications do arise.
There are some aftercare steps that you can take to reduce potential risks of complications. Of course, neck surgery is an intense procedure with a long recovery time; you should take plenty of time to rest and relax your neck. Talk with your surgeon about how long you should wait before performing any strenuous activities.
Pay close attention to your sleep position as to not put too much strain on your neck or upper back. The best position following neck surgery is flat on your back with a pillow resting under your knees. This takes unneeded pressure off of your spine while you sleep.
You should also maintain good posture whenever you are sitting, standing, or walking. Your neck needs to have proper support from your spine and shoulders after surgery.
Avoid lifting anything heavy following surgery. That means no backpacks, purses, or bags until you have had a chance to heal properly. You shouldn’t be carrying anything over 8 pounds, and definitely shouldn’t bend over to pick anything up.
Finally, keep an eye out for any signs of infection or complications following your surgery. If you notice a fever, consistent pain, or any other negative symptoms, contact your surgeon immediately.
Take Care of Your Body
While the risks are rare, you should know how to care for yourself following something as complex as neck surgery. Remember to let yourself rest and contact your doctor should any complications arise.
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