There are 1.6 million spinal surgeries performed each year.

If you need spine surgery, it is important to know what to expect. Once your surgery is complete, you will enter into recovery mode.

Recovery mode means that you will prepare your body to heal. You may be wondering how this will be accomplished and what it will entail.

Here is a look at what you can expect after spine surgery.

No Bending for Lifting

You will be told to avoid bending, this is to protect the spine after surgery. While it might be tempting to resume normal activities, you need to remember that this delicate structure needs time to heal and recover.

After surgery, you should also avoid lifting heavy objects or doing any heavy work for a few weeks, as this could cause damage or re-injury to your back. 

No Twisting After Spine Surgery

If you need to turn sideways when sitting down on something like a chair or toilet seat, just use one hand for balance. If you need to turn around while walking somewhere, then do it slowly and take small steps.

This may require some practice, and it may take a few painful lessons before you mentally adjust. Once you do adjust and learn how to minimize your activity level, you will make recovery easier on yourself.

No Driving

You will be drowsy and your ordination impaired after surgery. There may also be side effects from some painkillers. This is why driving is not allowed.

Car rides should also be limited during the early recovery period. Plan out before surgery how you will get groceries. If possible, cook and freeze food so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave.

Sleeping After Spine Surgery

After surgery, it is important not to sleep on your stomach. For the first few weeks, sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. You may also sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees.

This will minimize pressure on your spine and reduce the risk of bruising or injury.

Pain Medication

Pain medications are usually required after any type of surgery to reduce the discomfort and pain levels in the patient. It is a guarantee that your doctor at your spine surgery center will prescribe pain medication in the form of a liquid or tablet.

The types of pain medications that are most often prescribed for post-spinal surgery patients include acetaminophen for mild pain relief, and stronger opioid pain relievers, such as morphine for severe pain.

Time to Heal

Having to get surgery on your spine can be a nerve-wracking experience. You may find yourself having fears about what will happen after the surgery. This is completely normal.

The best thing you can do to ease your fears is to get all the facts and knowledge you can about what will happen during the surgery and how you can prepare yourself to heal. Once you know how to help yourself recover, you can relax and let your body heal.

If you think you may need spine surgery, please contact us.