What to expect during degenerative disc disease surgery recovery

If you’re considering degenerative disc disease surgery at Laser Spine Institute, or you already have the date set for your procedure, our caring staff will be sure that you know what to expect during your recovery period. Surgery is a big decision, and in making preparations to undergo a procedure, it can be easy to overlook how important the recovery period is to a positive outcome. The following information is intended to help you and your care partner be prepared for this key aspect of your procedure.

Preparing for your recovery

An important thing to understand is that even minimally invasive spine procedures will require some recovery time. Planning for this period before you travel to one of our centers will help the experience go smoothly. Many of our patients find that two areas of their lives that they need to make arrangements for while they are recovering are their jobs and taking care of children or parents. For example, you’ll need to make arrangements with your employer to take time off work. Also, child care may be another concern because while you’ll likely be at home recuperating, it might be difficult to address younger children’s needs without assistance.

It’s a good idea to arrange for a spouse, family member or friend to keep you company during your recovery period to help out with children and to assist you with lifting or other tasks that you might not be able to complete as you heal. It is crucial to follow your post-surgical instructions to avoid injuring yourself and delaying the healing process.

General recovery advice

Although recovery instructions may differ from patient to patient and depend on the specific procedure performed, there are common recommendations that Laser Spine Institute surgeons give our patients during recovery. We generally ask degenerative disc disease surgery patients to:

  • Avoid any type of strenuous exercise, particularly anything involving lifting items, until at least six weeks after surgery.
  • Utilize ice packs to control swelling and pain for the first two weeks following their procedures.
  • Resume exercise slowly. We recommend patients start walking shortly after surgery and begin gradually returning to an exercise routine.

An important general recommendation that we can make is to listen to your body. If an activity hurts, stop what you are doing. If a position causes you pain, switch to a different one. For more information about recovering from degenerative disc disease surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Every patient is different, and we can help answer questions particular to your recovery.

If you are considering surgery for neck or back pain and have exhausted doctor-recommended conservative treatments, reach out to us for a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.