Back surgery recovery after a procedure to treat a degenerative spine condition — keeping expectations realistic

Understanding what to expect after spine surgery can help you navigate your recovery period with realistic expectations. Depending on the type of back surgery you choose, your recovery period could be as long as a year before you are able to return to normal activity.

Before your procedure, be sure to discuss your recovery goals with your surgeon. For example, are you looking forward to getting back on the golf course or out in your garden? These are things your surgeon should know so he or she can design personalized recovery guidelines to help you heal after surgery. The most important thing to remember is that everyone recovers at a pace unique to them, so you must listen to your body throughout your recuperation.

Factors to remember during back surgery recovery

It is extremely important before you undergo a spine operation to learn as many details as possible about what to expect during the back surgery recovery process. Talk to your physician about goals and expectations, and be sure to have a plan in place that will allow you to progress through your recovery period at your own pace.

Life’s realities will almost certainly interfere at times — kids, work, school — which is why you must stay mentally prepared to adjust your rehabilitation schedule if necessary.

Understand, too, that any changes in symptoms during rehabilitation — for better or worse — should be reported to your physician and/or physical therapist. This is particularly important if the symptoms you experience are similar or identical to the symptoms you experienced before the operation. This could be a sign of failed back surgery syndrome and needs to be addressed by a medical professional.

Understanding failed back surgery syndrome

If at any point during your period of back surgery recovery you experience symptoms that worsen from day to day, ask your physician about the possibility of failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

While it can be extremely discouraging to realize that surgery did not provide the relief it should have, the only way to get past the disappointment is to have a realistic approach to handling the symptoms going forward. If you are suffering from failed back surgery syndrome, there are treatment options available, including the minimally invasive stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute — a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^

Contact our team today to learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery and to see if you qualify for one of our state-of-the-art procedures.