Preparing for the spinal stenosis surgery recovery period

Before undergoing minimally invasive surgery for spinal stenosis, it is important that you know what to expect during your postoperative recovery period. The specific recovery guidelines after your surgery will depend on the type of minimally invasive procedure used to treat your spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can be caused by several spine conditions, as well as the natural degeneration of your spine due to age. For this reason, the minimally invasive surgery used to treat your condition will be determined by the cause and severity of your condition.

Postoperative recovery for minimally invasive decompression surgery

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer two types of minimally invasive decompression surgeries to treat spinal stenosis:

  • Foraminotomy — the passageway around where the spinal nerve root exits the canal is enlarged to relieve pressure
  • Laminotomy — a small portion of the lamina and ligaments are removed in order to relieve pressure in the spinal canal

Our minimally invasive decompression surgery for spinal stenosis typically requires a 12-week recovery period.^ This is generally shorter than the three-month to six-month recovery time after a traditional open back surgery. During our minimally invasive decompression surgery, the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spine are spared. This is one of the main reasons why our minimally invasive surgery requires no lengthy recovery.^

You may feel slight soreness and stiffness at the surgical site for the first few days following your surgery. It is important that you listen to your body during this recovery period. If any of your movements or activities causes you pain or discomfort, stop and rest. A detailed guideline of lifting restrictions and activity regulations will be provided to you and your Care Partner prior to your surgery. If you have any questions during your recovery period, consult our team via the SPINE LINE.

Postoperative recovery for minimally invasive stabilization surgery

Our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ To treat spinal stenosis, we have two commonly used minimally invasive stabilization surgeries:

  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. During this procedure, a small incision is made in the side of the lumbar spine, where the surgeon removes the damaged spinal disc in order to decompress the affected nerve. Once the damaged disc is removed, the surgeon will insert a bone graft and spacer into the disc space to immediately stabilize the spine.
  • Anterior cervical discectomy fusion. During this procedure, a small incision is made in the front of the neck where, with the special help of an X-ray, the surgeon will remove the damaged disc and insert a bone or small titanium plate to stabilize the spine.

Your surgeon or nurse will guide you through the recovery process prior to your surgery. The specific guidelines of your recovery process are dependent on the type of minimally invasive stabilization surgery you receive.

Contact our SPINE LINE with any questions during your recovery period. We also welcome you to contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive procedures. You can receive a free MRI review* to determine whether you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.

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