After back surgery — what to expect following a minimally invasive procedure

One of the most common questions from patients about to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery is “What can I expect after surgery?”

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand why this is an important question. Many of our patients have suffered for seven or eight years from chronic back pain before turning to our minimally invasive treatment; they want to know when they can get back to the activities they used to enjoy. This information is also important as you schedule time off work and travel arrangements after your procedure.

A shorter recovery time§ after minimally invasive spine surgery

In general, a patient who undergoes a minimally invasive spinal procedure will experience a much quicker recovery§ than the healing time associated with traditional open spine surgery.

Even though many of our patients are up and walking just hours after the surgery, it is important to still follow the guidelines that will be given to you by your surgeon and medical team. These guidelines will help you maintain safety and prevent injury while you heal from surgery. You will learn about activities you should avoid throughout your recovery period and certain activities you should do regularly to help strengthen and stretch your spine.

How you will feel

In the first few weeks after back surgery, it is common to experience discomfort in the form of pain, muscle spasms and tightness in and around the surgical area. You may also notice some swelling and redness at the incision site.

Following a lumbar procedure, you may feel an intermittent tingling sensation in your buttocks, leg or foot. Likewise, after cervical surgery, sporadic numbness in your arm or hand is possible. Frequently changing your position from lying down to sitting or standing is beneficial, but may be painful, so you’ll want to move slowly and carefully. Your comfort level should improve steadily after the first few days.

Throughout your recovery, our team of medical professionals is available 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns through our SPINE LINE. We are here to guide you through your recovery period and make sure that you are healing properly so you can get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.