Spinal stenosis surgery can be an unsettling experience, even for those who select the safer and more effective route of a minimally invasive procedure. While it is true that avoiding open back surgery by opting for much less invasive endoscopic spine surgery will help ensure a faster recovery for most patients, post-surgery pain, stiffness, and swelling are to be expected, even after a minimally invasive operation. The primary difference, of course, is the anticipated duration and intensity of the post-surgical symptoms.
The Patient’s General Responsibilities
After a minimally invasive spine procedure, most patients can expect to regain close to full mobility within a month, whereas those who undergo open back spinal stenosis surgery typically require at least twice that period of time – or longer – to once again begin to feel “normal.” Regardless of what type of procedure someone underwent, though, there are a number of post-surgery responsibilities that all patients share. These include:
- Following the surgeon’s and/or physical therapist’s instructions to the letter
- Informing physicians if previously existing symptoms return or worsen
- Informing physicians if new symptoms arise
- Keeping post-surgery evaluation appointments with the physicians and/or physical therapists
- Following the directions (written and otherwise) for any pain medicine or anti-inflammatory medication that was prescribed
Follow Specific Instructions, Too
Certainly, there will be post-surgery responsibilities that are specific to each patient’s procedure, and all of the tips mentioned above are valid for those, as well. Spinal stenosis surgery is almost always the last resort for someone who suffers from neck or back pain related to this degenerative spine condition, and every patient should do everything in his or her power to make sure that the procedure is a success. To learn more about what to expect in the aftermath of spinal stenosis surgery, attend a free seminar given at locations around the country by Laser Spine Institute. Contact us for information about dates and times of upcoming seminars near you.