What is a typical recovery timeline for spinal pinched nerve surgery?

If you’ve tried conservative treatments for managing your neck or back pain but haven’t found the relief you need, pinched nerve surgery may be your next step. Of course, surgery is a big decision that comes with a lot of uncertainty. Your spine is a highly complex and sensitive — not to mention important — part of your anatomy, so it’s understandable if you have concerns about spine surgery and, in particular, the rehabilitation period that will follow.

If you decide to have pinched nerve surgery, you should know that your recovery timeline can vary depending on the surgical technique used. In general, there are two main surgical approaches: traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive outpatient surgery. Because the traditional approach is highly invasive, the recovery period that follows can be long and difficult. Alternatively, minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through small incisions, which can result in less muscle disruption and, in turn, a lower risk of complications and quicker recovery.^

Other factors that can affect your recovery timeline

In addition to the type of surgery you have, there are other factors that can influence your recovery from pinched nerve surgery. These include:

  • Your age. Certain changes occur naturally in the body over time, and these changes can have a detrimental effect on the body’s healing capacity. For instance, the skin loses elasticity and collagen, both of which are essential for cellular development and tissue regeneration.
  • Your overall health. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can inhibit the flow of blood and nutrients to damaged tissue, and thus hinder the repair process.
  • Your lifestyle. Returning too soon to a physically demanding job or participating in high-impact activities can potentially stall or impede the recovery process. Additionally, people who maintain a healthy body weight and do not smoke tend to experience faster recoveries than their unhealthier counterparts.

In sum, a wide range of factors can influence how quickly you progress from the operating room to your full, active lifestyle. To learn how to get the most out of your pinched nerve surgery and recovery, you should have an in-depth discussion with your surgeon beforehand.

Where to turn for advice

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about minimally invasive pinched nerve surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to request a free MRI review.* Our team can determine if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive outpatient procedure at one of our state-of-the-art surgery centers.

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