How to promote a fast and full recovery from herniated nucleus pulposus surgery

The rehabilitation period that follows herniated nucleus pulposus surgery, as well as the activities to avoid in order to promote fast and proper healing, can vary considerably based on a number of individual factors. For this reason, the surgeon who will perform your procedure is always your best source for information on what you should anticipate during your recovery.

In general, you can expect to have some pain and swelling around your incision site for a few weeks after your surgery. As time passes, your discomfort should steadily improve, provided that you carefully follow the postoperative instructions provided by your surgeon.

Activities to avoid as you heal from surgery

Most patients are advised to avoid the following activities immediately after herniated nucleus pulposus surgery in order to promote a fast and full recovery:

  • Sitting for more than 10 to 20 minutes at a time
  • Swimming in a pool or soaking in a tub (for the first two weeks after surgery)
  • Bending and twisting movements
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Participating in high-impact sports and other strenuous activities, such as running, skiing and boating
  • Riding horses, ATVs, tractors and amusement park rides
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (other than those specifically prescribed), which can sometimes inhibit the healing process

Returning to daily activities

After evaluating your progress during a follow-up appointment, your surgeon may clear you for driving and returning to work within a few weeks after your herniated nucleus pulposus surgery. At that time, he or she can also provide specific advice on when you can safely resume other activities. Typically, it takes a few months for spinal bones to heal well, and the healing process may continue for up to a year after surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery

For information on how a herniated nucleus pulposus can be treated with minimally invasive surgery, what you can expect during your recovery and the specific activities you should avoid, you can talk with the experts at Laser Spine Institute. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgery to address various spinal conditions. Unlike open spine surgery, which often involves several days of hospitalization, our minimally invasive procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and have no lengthy recovery.^ Among other things, this approach can help you get back to your daily routine sooner.

If you’d like to learn more about the minimally invasive surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.

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